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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50178
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I feel I have been forced out of my management position at

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I feel I have been forced out of my management position at work, and been bullied intimidated and vindictive actions have happen, however it was turned onto me that I was the one that was bullying, the term my company used was inappropriate conduct and my management style was incorrect. However I have never been told trained to use any other style for the past 22 years. I was given a final written warning after 25 hrs of investigations and then finally disciplinary. Through all of this one of my line managers had some close colleagues and friends at work whom worked under myself and they all ganged up against myself making out I was bullying them. I put a grievance in on the 1/8/14 I believe my letter was exposed and left out so this manager could see it, on the back of this they put grievances in on the 3/5/6/8/14 to me it's all to conisidental, when I had never been told for all this time anything was wrong. I had to leave the company on Monday as I could not take any more and my doctors had already signed me off prior to this for 4 weeks due to work related stress, I was terribly ill. Do I have a case to take them to constructive dismissal???? I am now not working and I am a single mum with a home and commitments to keep up. Plse can you advise me where and who I can go to. This is just a brief over view it's goes deeper than this with times and dates. Kind regards ***** *****

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Did you ever raise a formal grievance about any of this?

JACUSTOMER-zymswvua- : Yes I did a letter to my manager and talked to him on many occasions, he said leave it with me he would deal with it
Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

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).

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.

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:

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.

JACUSTOMER-zymswvua- : Let me just digest your reply, lots to take in and understand, I must street that I have no funds to take this to court is there any solicitors for employment law that do no win no fee basis, or do I do this all myself.????
Ben Jones :

Not many employment lawyers do no win no fee and you need a good case for any to take it on, so you would need to shop around for any that may do, but if you can't find any then you have to do it yourself (you do not need a lawyer to make a claim). However, the initial ACAS process is free

JACUSTOMER-zymswvua- : I don't think my company recognise acas as we are not in a union, am in incorrect over this. Do you think it's a strong enough case and which angle would you advise, breach of confidentiality seems to be where you are coming from, I saw it more from being forced out or am I being completely stupid as I'm so close and emotional that it's all linked together, what's kind of fees would we be looking at if I went down a solicitors route????
Ben Jones :

ACAS is an independent body, it is not about whether they are recognised or not - they will contact the employer on your behalf and try to facilitate a settlement. It is not about breach of confidentiality, it is breach of trust and confidence, this is the main argument one would claim in a constructive dismissal case. If you did use a solicitor then it would depend on many factors, such as the firm you choose, seniority of those dealing with it, how long the case is, etc - it could be at least a couple of thousand maybe

JACUSTOMER-zymswvua- : Right that makes sense, mmmm I would have to do this via a as then, I just got my mail, and 2 letters have arrived from my employees, one asking me to sign the admission of receipt for the final written warning, and other is to say that they received my email Letter of resignation, they want me to reconsider retracing it and to attend a meeting on the 20th October to discuss the grievance with my area manager and head of hr. What would be your advise. Then another letter separate to invite me to the grievance. I am so upset over all this I'm not focused enough to now make what would be the right decision. I know you can't make this for me, it's your professional advise standing back viewing this situation that should never have come to this. The wording they used for my final written warning is reasonable grounds to believe inappropriate conduct and treatment of employees in store specifically referring to your management style has resulted in grievances being raised.
Ben Jones :

I cannot tell you whether to resign or not - that is a personal decision for you. Only you know whether you can return to work there or not and if you are prepared to give them a chance to try and resolve this, so I am afraid this is something you have to make a decision on. All I can discuss is your legal position should you decide to go ahead with this

JACUSTOMER-zymswvua- : I totally understand, I need time to take this all in, if this case is strong enough I would like to take this further, my concerns are that it may not be strong enough to stand up in court, or settlement out of court. The next step is to call acas to seek advise is this correct.
Ben Jones :

Yes you are correct, using the link above

JACUSTOMER-zymswvua- : Ok before I close the conversation , do I go to the link first then rate you then save and exit, u've been great Ben thxs for your advise and support, very encouraging. Siobhan
Ben Jones :

yes you can do this, the question will be saved and you can access the link at any time

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