Employees who feel they have to resign from their jobs because of the way they have been treated can claim constructive dismissal. Some people view constructive dismissal as a form of dismissal.
Generally a employee will terminate their employment contract by resigning because they feel strongly that their employer has committed a serious breach of contract.
This course of action should be a last resort, before it gets to this stage employees should try to resolve their problems at work first. They can do this by contacting senior managers or union representatives at their place of work and go through the grievance and mediation procedures.
In the UK constructive dismissal can lead to employees making a claim for ‘unfair dismissal’ against employers. These usually end up in Employment Tribunals and if found guilty companies can be forced to pay compensation for wrongful dismissal.
In the UK constructive dismissal is defined as:
'The employee terminates the contract under which he is employed in circumstances in which he is entitled to terminate it without notice by reason of the employer's conduct'.
People may feel the need to resign because of a single incident or a number of incidents. Listed below are some reasons why constructive dismissal can occur:
Victimisation or humiliation of the employee.
A employer refusing to pay wages owed or persistently delaying payment.
Racial or sexual harassment.
Bullying through verbal abuse.
Forcing staff to work in dangerous conditions.
Changing a employees working conditions or terms of employment without notifying them or getting their consent.
Bosses persistently ignoring a employees complaints.
Demotion for no apparent reason.
Violence against a employee.
Asking a employee to suddenly re-locate to work from a different town.
Repeated criticizing in front of subordinates or other staff.
Refusing to give employees holidays.
When to resign
If a employee feels they are being victimised they should resign from their job quickly after any incidents they are unhappy about.
How to resign
Employees can either resign straight away or they can give written notice to the company stating that they intend to resign in the very near future.
Claiming benefits if you resign
You may not be automatically entitled to claim Jobseekers Allowance, so it's best to check with your local Jobcentre first to find out where you stand.
If you need further guidance and advice on constructive dismissal issues then contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or the Labour Relations Agency.