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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46224
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I think I have been constructively dismissed. I was moved

Customer Question

I think I have been constructively dismissed. I was moved into a new role without consultation, was not given a new job description and was not issued with a new job contract. I had two bosses who didnt agree with each other and the role became impossible to deliver. I felt I was left with no choice but to resign. Is that constructive dismissal?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months 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 9 months ago.

How long did you work there for and when did you leave?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Just for info I am travelling so won't be able to reply fully until late this eve but if you can answer my query before that please that would be great

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I worked for 2 years 7 months,I was in the new role 10 months. I finished on May 13th and have been in conversation with HR about documents since then. But highlighted the issues after resignation.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I can send the HR letter and response if it helps (is this kept private)
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. This could potentially amount to constructive dismissal, which 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).

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.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow before you are actually able to submit a claim, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46224
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks Ben - when you say "There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal.", is this form the date of resignation or last day of work? I finished work in mid may but had worked a full three months notice first as per my contractual obligations.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Thank you. After resignation you have 3 months to make a claim in the employment tribunal. This is from the date of termination so when your last day of employment with the company was. However, a new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.

If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.

The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:

https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage

In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks - would you be able suggest the most appropriate/advisable next steps?
Thnak you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

you have no option but to contact ACAS before you are able to do anything else so you should do that in the first instance

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your help. Final question, would the "alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis", option but nullified if I contact the ACAS.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

No, but the end result is the same - whether you go through ACAS or directly with the employer, you are looking for a settlement agreement in both cases and it makes no difference which way you go through. the only thing is that without ACAS' involvement you will need to see a solicitor to be advised on the agreement terms and usually the employer pays for this so for them it would be cheaper if they had ACAS involved as no solicitor is needed for that

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
thank you, ***** ***** been incredibly helpful.Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

You are welcome all the best

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