An introduction to Constructive dismissal with Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid

05 January 2017

Expert employment solicitor Rebecca Reid explains and answers some questions around the rules of constructive dismissal. 

  • What is constructive dismissal? Can an employee resign after a one-off incident?

What is a constructive dismissal?

A constructive dismissal occurs when an employee is forced to resign against their will because or in response to the employer’s conduct.  In one sense, it’s not a dismissal at all.  It’s a resignation.

In order to claim constructive dismissal, the employee will need to prove three things:-

  • The employer committed a very serious breach of the employment contract;
  • The employee resigned in response to that breach and not for any other reason;
  • The employee did not wait too long before resigning.

The reasons the employee may leave their job must be serious, for example, they:

  • Not paid wages or suddenly demote for no reason force to accept unreasonable changes to working conditions allowing other employees harass or bully the employee

The employer’s breach of contract may be one serious incident or a series of incidents that are serious when taken together.


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