Constructive Dismissal

Expert Guidance on Constructive Dismissal in Derby

At John M Lewis & Co, our dedicated team of solicitors in Derby understands that facing constructive dismissal is a challenging and stressful experience. We are here to provide the expert legal support and guidance you need during this difficult time.

Understanding Constructive Dismissal

Constructive dismissal is a situation where an employee feels compelled to resign from their job due to their employer’s serious breach of their employment contract. While it is the employee who resigns, it is treated legally as an unfair dismissal.

When Does Constructive Dismissal Typically Occur?

Constructive dismissal often arises from serious breaches of an express or implied term of the contract by the employer. Some common situations that might lead to a constructive dismissal claim include:

  • Unfair reduction in pay or not paying wages at all.
  • Making significant changes to your job without consultation or agreement.
  • Demotion without a valid reason.
  • Unfounded accusations of poor performance.
  • Imposing unreasonable changes to your role.
  • Forcing you to work in unsafe conditions.
  • Making baseless accusations of misconduct.

Who Can Bring a Claim for Constructive Dismissal?

To pursue a claim for constructive dismissal, you must be an employee. Even if your contract or employer states that you are self-employed or a worker, you may still have employee status based on the nature of your work relationship. However, if you weren’t guaranteed regular work and could send a substitute, you might not meet the criteria for employee status.

Typically, you need at least two years of continuous service to claim constructive dismissal. But there are exceptions, such as resigning due to specific automatically unfair reasons.

When Is Constructive Dismissal Automatically Unfair?

An automatic unfair dismissal can occur for various impermissible reasons, including:

  • Dismissal for asserting statutory rights, like requesting the minimum wage.
  • Termination based on your part-time or fixed-term status.
  • Taking action concerning health and safety concerns.
  • Being pregnant or on maternity leave.
  • Exercising your right to paternity leave.
  • Reporting your employer’s wrongdoing, often referred to as whistleblowing.

Timing of Your Resignation

To succeed in a constructive dismissal claim, you must resign promptly in response to the serious breach of an express or implied term of your employment contract. Delaying your resignation significantly after the issue has occurred can complicate your claim and may lead to a tribunal finding that you’ve affirmed the contract. Each case depends on its unique circumstances.

Should You Raise a Grievance?

Deciding whether to raise a grievance can be challenging. In some cases, an employment tribunal might determine that you should have attempted to resolve the issue with your employer before resigning. Failing to do so when it was reasonable can lead to a reduction in awarded damages.

How We Can Assist You

At John M Lewis & Co, we have extensive experience handling constructive dismissal cases in Derby. Our team can provide expert advice and support through every step of the process:

  • Case Assessment: We’ll evaluate your situation to determine the strength of your constructive dismissal claim.
  • ACAS Early Conciliation: We can assist you in navigating the ACAS early conciliation process, working to resolve the dispute and potentially avoid tribunal proceedings.
  • Employment Tribunal Representation: If your case proceeds to an employment tribunal, our skilled solicitors will vigorously represent your interests to achieve the best possible outcome.

Facing constructive dismissal is daunting, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Contact John M Lewis & Co today to discuss your situation and get the expert legal support you need to protect your rights and seek justice.

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