Resignation and Constructive Dismissal

From time to time we all have bad days at work or become frustrated with our employer. However, for some people, problems with their employer extend beyond the occasional bad day and they feel they have no choice but to resign. In so doing, they may be putting their career at risk and certainly there will be an impact on the financial security of their family. Despite all this, such may be the actions of their employer that they consider they have no alternative.  In those situations, they might have a claim for Constructive Dismissal at the Employment Tribunal.

If you feel like you have to leave your job, before taking any steps to resign please take legal advice on your situation. You may find that after speaking with one of the qualified and experienced lawyers at LincsLaw Solicitors, there are other options available to you. For example, you may be advised that before you resign you should submit a grievance to you employer; see our free downloadable guides.

Even if resignation is the only way forward, you should make sure you know whether you have a potential claim to the Employment Tribunal for Constructive Dismissal as there are actions you can take to strengthen your position.

Constructive Dismissal

If you are contemplating a claim for Constructive Dismissal, please be aware that you will have to demonstrate to an Employment Tribunal that:-

  1. your employer has committed or intends to commit a fundamental or significant breach of your contract of employment; and,
  2. that you have resigned because of the breach or intended breach of your contract of employment; and,
  3. that you have responded (and/or resigned) in a timely fashion and done nothing which could be considered by your employer as acceptance of the breach of your contract of employment.

Employment Tribunal Claim

The Employment Tribunal has very strict time limits and you are required to submit any claim within three months of your last day of employment. Your last day of employment is counted as the first day when calculating the time limit. For example, if your last day of employment was 30th June, your claim must be submitted on or before 29th September. Time limits can be extended in certain circumstances where ACAS are involved in the Early Conciliation Procedure when the deadline expires. (All employees wanting to pursue their claim before an Employment Tribunal must first go through the ACAS Early Conciliation Procedure). However, if you do not submit your claim within the prescribed time limits you will be unable to pursue your matter before the Employment Tribunal.

In addition, the Employment Tribunal will usually require you to have completed two years’ service with your employer to bring a claim for Constructive Dismissal. This is called a qualifying period. There are exceptions to this rule: for example, if you are a whistleblower and your employer has deliberately driven you out of work because of your protected disclosure, you can submit your claim even without two years’ employment. Also, there are alternative claims which can be brought, for example discrimination claims, which do not require you to have any length of employment to bring a claim.

Employment Tribunal time limits and qualifying periods can be difficult to calculate. Whilst some general guidance is provided on this website, there is no substitute for a proper legal assessment of your situation and legal advice in respect of your personal circumstances.

What to do next?

If you are considering resigning your employment or contemplating a claim for Constructive Dismissal before the Employment Tribunal, please contact one of our experienced qualified lawyers. We do not make any charge for your initial enquiry and can usually advise whether you should take your matter further. Please contact Lincoln based LincsLaw Solicitors for a free, no obligation discussion.