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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48196
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am a branch manager of an estate agency company I have

Resolved Question:

Hi there,
I am a branch manager of an estate agency for a company I have worked for for 5 years
I am being forced out of my role and offered a lower role while my regional manager takes my position.
I have not been sacked nor my role made redundant I am simply being forced out.
I have not had any performance related issues as I exceeded expectations for the most recent financial year.
Do I have a case?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also there have been no disciplinary, punctuality or reliability issues...
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

In what way are they forcing you out?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, in the circumstances it would appear that your employer is potentially acting in breach of contract which could give rise to a constructive dismissal claim.

This occurs when the following two elements are present:
• Serious breach of contract by the employer; and
• An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long.

A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario).

So If they are pushing you out of your job with no reasonable explanation and it appears to be done unfairly, the option of constructive dismissal is there for you if needed.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of how to use the constructive dismissal route, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank

Ben Jones and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. In the case of a potential constructive dismissal case, the affected employee would initially be expected to raise a formal grievance in order to officially bring their concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them. If the issues are so bad that the employee can't even face raising a grievance and going through the process, or if a grievance has been raised but has been unsuccessful, then they can consider resigning straight away.

If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach had been accepted. Any resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without providing any notice period. It is advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal.

Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal.

An alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation. In any event, there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them because you cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against you.

Just to make a final, yet important point, that constructive dismissal can be a difficult claim to win as the burden of proof is entirely on the employee to show the required elements of a claim were present. Therefore, it should only be used as a last resort.