Constructive Dismissal

What is constructive dismissal?

Constructive dismissal occurs when an employee resigns because of a ‘fundamental or repudiatory’ breach of the employment contract by the employer.

The employee may resign with or without notice, what matters is that he should be entitled to terminate the contract without notice.

Examples include:

  • Your employer does not pay you or suddenly demotes you for no reason.
  • You are forced to accept unreasonable changes to how you work – eg tell you to work night shifts when your contract is only for day work.
  • let other employees harass or bully you.

In reality, not many employees resign with notice when intending to claim constructive dismissal because it may undermine their argument that the working conditions or behaviour of the employer is intolerable.

Before resigning, an employee needs to consider which contract term the employer has broken. Contracts consist of implied and express terms (verbal or written).

Once the employee is sure that the employer has committed an actual or anticipatory breach, s/he must resign fairly promptly, since any delay must be taken by the Employment Tribunal as evidence that the employee has really accepted the employer’s conduct.

Initial Telephone Advice

If you think you have a claim for constructive dismissal, we would encourage you to get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity.

Call us today on 020 8318 4345 or send us an email, briefly outlining the nature of your enquiry to