What is constructive dismissal?
Just about everyone has heard of unfair dismissal. It’s when an employer fires you for reasons considered unfair. For example, you became pregnant or joined a trade union. But did you know that employment law protects you from another form of dismissal?
Constructive dismissal is when you are forced to resign from your job against your will because of your employer’s actions, or lack of action. The reasons you give for leaving must be serious.
Some examples of instances that would constitute constructive dismissal might include:
- Being demoted for no reason.
- Not receiving payment.
- Your boss allowing bullying or harassment.
- Unreasonable changes to how you work that breach your contract.
- Requiring you to work in an unsafe environment.
It is advisable that employees try to resolve any issues of this nature with their employer. However, if this fails, you should seek independent legal advice as quickly as possible. This is because you might need to decide to resign quickly. If you remain in your post for too long, your employer will likely argue that by staying, you were content with their conduct if you decide to pursue a claim.
Claiming for constructive dismissal in Belfast & Northern Ireland
If you do pursue a constructive dismissal claim, you might be entitled to compensation. The amount varies depending on the circumstances and your losses resulting from the constructive dismissal. A specialist employment law solicitor can advise you on what they feel a fair monetary value is. In many instances, constructive dismissal claims can be settled early through different types of mediation. For example, your solicitor might liaise with the Labour Relations Agency on your behalf.
If no settlement can be reached, your solicitor may advise proceeding to the Office of the Industrial Tribunal and Fair Employment Tribunal. Your case will be heard by a judge who will decide if your employer is liable for your constructive dismissal and if so, they will award you damages.
Talk to a constructive dismissal solicitor
If you feel that you were treated poorly in work and that you have no choice but to resign, then you might have a viable constructive dismissal claim. If you would like to find out, we offer free, confidential initial consultations with an employment solicitor. Contact us today to book yours or read more about our Unfair & Constructive Dismissal Claims service.