If you are forced to resign from your position in a company because changes were made to your work contract, or your role has been made difficult due to bullying or harassment, you may want to pursue a claim for constructive dismissal.
Is it easy to prove a case of constructive dismissal?
Some cases are easier than others to prove. If an employee has not been paid since starting in the role, then this is quite straightforward and easy to prove with the guidance of a legal representative. Other cases related to constructive dismissal following changes to a contract, bullying or harassment can be more complex and require a thorough investigation.
What actions are examples of constructive dismissal?
Being bullied or harassed by management or other employees while in the role is unacceptable and some workers find they are under such strain and stress that they are unable to carry on in the job. This can lead to an employee resigning and having a strong case for constructive dismissal. An employer may also make unreasonable changes to your role, for example, by forcing you to relocate to a different office or introducing longer working hours. If you have been demoted or the company has not paid your salary, you may also have a case. A hazardous workplace, taking away your benefits, such as a company car or lack of support for you while in the job can also lead to claims.
What’s the first step in the process?
Regardless as to the details of your case, the first step is to gather together the evidence, whether that relates to email trails, paperwork or witnesses. Keeping a journal of incidents and responses is useful so that you have a clear record of evidence. Always make sure dates and times are recorded in the notes. Consider building the evidence as you go along or as soon as you depart the company while the incidents are recent and fresh in your mind. A detailed timeline of events is key to your claim and if there is online evidence, take screenshots. Keep copies of any correspondence that the company has offered, from emails to posted letters. Witness statements can also be useful evidence for your case.
Do I need legal assistance?
Proving constructive dismissal on your own may not be easy, so you may want to bring legal help on board as soon as possible. A constructive dismissal claim can be taken against your employer if you feel a breach of contract has occurred or you are forced to resign after bullying or harassment. Professional advice such as that seen here: https://www.employmentlawfriend.co.uk/constructive-dismissal can assist with the process, providing invaluable experience and insight.
By way of example, The Mail cites the case of a supermarket staff member who refused to relocate to the company’s new outlet in Ulverston, Cumbria, and won a claim of constructive dismissal. You must be able to demonstrate that your resignation was the result of your employer’s actions.
Check your employment status before claiming
You can only make a claim against a firm if you were an employee. Self-employed contractors or agency staff will not be eligible. You can only usually make a claim for constructive dismissal if you have worked for the company for a minimum of two years.