The right not to be constructively dismissal is a key employment right. We have considerable experience of constructive dismissal cases. An employee is constructively dismissed when they resign because their employer has fundamentally breached their contract of employment.
The difficulty for employers is that a very wide range of different forms of conduct on their part will often be regarded as a fundamental breach of conduct. Constructive dismissal cases are not limited to breaches of an express or written term in the contract such as wages or hours. The courts have implied a term into contracts of employment of trust and confidence. An employer will often be regarded as having breached this term because of, for example, the use of inappropriate language, an unreasonable handling of grievance and disciplinary procedures, failure to provide proper support, failure to investigate health and safely complaints and unfair accusations, warnings and reprimands. It is therefore essential that employers are aware of the wide range of matters that may lead to them being in fundamental breach of the contract and hence liable for constructive dismissal.
However, employees face problems as well. Even if they have suffered a fundamental breach their claim will often fail if they do not resign promptly. Should they then resign immediately or delay by trying to resolve the problem internally by raising a grievance? If they fail to raise a grievance it will often be said that they did not genuinely believe they had suffered a fundamental breach and that any such breach was not the reason for their resignation. Furthermore, they will often have difficulty in proving many of the allegations they make. For example the employer may, for example, deny any inappropriate language he is alleged to have used or deny that he did not listen to any complaints they made. Also it will not suffice that the employee has lost trust and confidence in his employer - he must establish that the loss of such trust and confidence was objectively justified.
Constructive dismissal cases are usually both complex and difficult for employers and employees alike. It is important to have specialist advice and assistance.