Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are you adamant you now wish to leave?
I don't really feel I have a choice. If they feel this way about me but instead of addressing their concerns left it to fester, how can we continue to work together. I attempted to resolve formally by submitting my grievance letter but this just seems to have made the whole thing very personal as far as my manager is concerned. We are a small company, only the husband and wife, myself and currently a temp in the office. The rest are field staff, not office based - 6 of them.
what happened with the grievance, has it been dealt with?
Not yet - the MD just acknowledged receipt of it and would respond in due course.
By going to work tomorrow you will not be accepting the situation as it is to an extent that it would damage your prospects of taking the matter further if you decide to. It is still early days and you also have a grievance in progress. You can at least wait until the grievance is resolved to make a decision. However, you should not delay any decision unreasonably long so as soon as you know that the matter is beyond resolution and you have tried all that you could reasonably be expected to (such as the grievance) you should resign without undue delay.
In terms of your legal options on pursuing this, then it could potentially amount to constructive dismissal, which occurs when the following two elements are present:
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).
As mentioned, 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.
Thank you. I have some more detailed facts about the build up to this so will return to work tomorrow, but get an appointment with a local solicitor and take further advice. My main concern was that by continuing to work I would be re affirming the contract. I feel as it stands at the moment, the contractual term of trust and confidence has indeed been broken.
No, if it is a short period of time whilst you are trying to resolve this then you would not be affirming it so that you can no longer claim, but as mentioned you should not delay your decision unreasonably after that
So it would be reasonable and also protect my position to a degree to:
1 - continue to work until the grievance is heard; 2 - if not satisfied approach without predjudice with a view to a settlement agreement and 3 - if this was refused resign stating as you advised earlier?
Brilliant - thanks for the advice - I might sleep a bit tonight now! :)