• Employment
  • December 01, 2021

What Should I Do If I Receive a Claim of Constructive Dismissal?

As an employer, you will want to ensure that your valued team members are treated fairly and with respect at all times. After all, by nurturing and providing employees with opportunities for development, they can seek career advancement while helping to grow the business. This is why being accused of ‘constructive dismissal’ by a former employee can come as something of a shock, especially if you were not aware of the situation. In cases of constructive dismissal, an employee is able to bring a claim against their former employer if they felt forced into resigning. So what should you do if you receive a claim of constructive dismissal?

What is constructive dismissal?

Constructive dismissal is not a legal term, but it is commonly used in situations where an employer is accused of breaching the terms of an employmentcontract, effectively forcing the employee to leave - this is referred to as a ‘repudiatory breach’.  Simply put, a repudiatory breach occurs when one party to a contract does something to break the terms of the contract leaving the other party with no other option but to terminate it.  

Constructive dismissal might happen if an employee:

  • feels harassed or bullied in their role
  • has their working conditions changed with little notice - e.g. being repeatedly asked to work at the weekend or work overtime
  • is not paid correctly
  • raises a complaint that is not taken seriously by the employer
Constructive dismissal may follow a single alleged breach of contract, which is serious in itself, or following several breaches.

What should I do if I suspect an employee may claim constructive dismissal?

It is preferable to avoid a claim for constructive dismissal where possible. This can be achieved by using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods such as negotiation and mediation to find a solution. It may be appropriate to enter into a Settlement Agreement which will allow the employee to leave on terms you can both agree on and prevent them from bringing a claim for constructive dismissal in the future.  

Final words

Regardless of the circumstances, if you have received a claim for constructive dismissal, we recommend speaking to an employmentSolicitor who can advise on the options available to you.  Doing so will ensure that the matter is brought to a successful and speedy resolution without further extending the dispute.

Get legal assistance from LawBite

LawBite employment lawyers are ready to help you if you receive a claim for constructive dismissal. They can give you legal advice and guidance to help you protect your business.

You can book a free 15-minute consultation and speak with an expert employment lawyer today.

Additional useful information

In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.

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