Constructive Dismissal means that your Employer has acted in
such a way towards you that allows you to leave your job and treat
yourself as dismissed.
Whilst your Employer has not actually fired you, they may have
brought your employment to an end by their behaviour. An example of
this would be where your employer persistently bullies or
intimidates you, forcing you to leave your job.
If your contract has been brought to an end in this way, then
you would not be required to work your notice.
Breach of Contract
Not every action an employer takes will amount to an actionable
breach of contract. However, if an you feel that your employer has
fundamentally breached your contract of employment without
reasonable cause, you may consider resigning and claiming
It is always worth seeking advice before resigning and claiming
constructive dismissal, as without the proper proof and proper
procedures, it can be difficult to prove constructive
Our team can advise you on the kinds of proof required to
prove constructive dismissal, and help you to decide which venue
would be the most appropriate in which to bring your claim.
Making a claim for Constructive Dismissal
A Constructive Dismissal claim may either be brought about by
one particular incident or it may be a series of incidents
culminating in a 'last straw'.
The time limit for a claim to the tribunal is 3 months minus one
day from the date of termination or breach.
Unfortunately, Constructive Dismissal is not always easy to
prove and it is important you consider your position very carefully
before leaving your job. To prove Constructive Dismissal you need
to show that your Employer's actions were sufficiently serious to
force you to leave your job. It is not necessarily enough that you
consider that your Employer has acted unreasonably.
Remember, the maximum amount an Employment Tribunal can award is
£25,000. If your claim is worth more than this amount then you
should pursue your claim to the ordinary courts such as the County
Our employment solicitors can help you to decide what your next
steps should be if you wish to claim for constructive
What to do before making a claim
You should generally try and raise a grievance with your
Employer before resigning, allowing them the opportunity to try and
resolve the problem. Failure to do this could reduce any
compensation that you recover by up to 25%.
A claim for Constructive Dismissal must be submitted to an
Employment Tribunal within three months from date of your
To have a Constructive Dismissal claim, you need to
- Have you been employed for 12 months? If you have not, then you
cannot bring a claim for constructive dismissal
- Has your Employer broken an express term of your contract?
- Has your Employer acted in a way that will likely result in the
break down of your relationship of mutual trust and
- Have you resigned?
What if you have not worked for one year?
If you have less than one year's service and do not have any
discrimination element to your claim, you are in a very difficult
position legally. You can of course raise a grievance on the matter
in question, and we can assist in the drafting of a letter which
can have a positive affect in improving your situation.
However, it is important to note that by raising any grievance
you are vulnerable to dismissal if your employer takes exception,
and in reality you will not likely have a legal remedy if this does
Of course, this would depend on the procedure followed and
Disappointing as this may be, it at least puts you in the
picture regarding your legal rights and you may well adopt a
different strategy to deal with the issue. For example, you may
decide to 'keep your head down' until the one year's service has
passed or to compromise with your employer on a particular issue
for the time being.
If you think that your situation may be one of constructive
dismissal, our employment solicitors may be able to help you make a
claim. Call freephone 0800 422 0241 or complete our
contact form and we will get back to you.