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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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The employee has handed in her notice with immediate effect

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The employee has handed in her notice with immediate effect citing 'constructive dismissal'. In this case she worked as a careworker, the father of the partner of the person being cared for approached the employees husband and asked him to speak to her about the fact that she took unplanned time out of work and was constantly on her mobile phone to her family etc. The person employing her hadn't said anything to her and neither had his partner. The employee said confidentiality had been breached. Has asked for any holiday money for accrued holiday for this year and three weeks holiday pay from 2014 .Can she sue for constructive dismissal ?The people are on disability living allowance and in social housing.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long has this person worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

roughly two and a half years I think

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Who has allegedly breached confidentiality here?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The employee says that 'she feels that employee /employer confidentiality has been broken'

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
ok but what do you think she means by this - who has broken such confidentiality - what has the employer done to allegedly breach this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She feels that possibly the employers partner has discussed her ( the employees ) wages and taking unauthorised days off, with the employers partners father.) sorry if this is complicated.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
It’s ok I just need to understand what has happened. 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). In this case if the employer had discussed confidential information about the employee with a third party (her partner would be a third party) then the confidence could have been breached. However, it is for the employee making the claim to prove that this had happened, rather than for the employer to prove that it hadn’t.
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. She would still be entitled to receive any accrued holidays for the current holiday year and any pay for time worked up to her resignation but no more than that.
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. There is of course no guarantee that it will get that far and only time will tell but as mentioned the time limit is rather short so you will know sooner or later whether this is the case.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

what is the position if another employee had discussed the matter with the employers partners father ?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
the employer could still be responsible for that but it would depend whether they acted completely unbeknown to the employer or the employer just turned a blind eye or did not deal with it appropriately once it had happened
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The employer was not aware of the discussion but the other employee was directly affected by having to work on the days the employee who has quit didn't work thus affecting their own days off

I should also explain that the employer is a quadraplegic and his partner has lasting/enduring power of attourney.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
in this case it would be more difficult to argue that it was the employer's breach of contract which caused the employee to resign. But as mentioned it is still down to the employee to prove that they have a case of constructive dismissal so unless they can prove that he employer had acted in breach of contract they are unlikely to succeed.
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