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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 54415
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I feel like my employer is constructively dismissing me as I

Customer Question

I feel like my employer is constructively dismissing me as I was demoted back in September. He is now asking me to do the same job exactly but at a lower position. He has also demanded that I take on a substantial amount os secretarial duties against my will. He has promised me twice that he would take on a Secretary since January but hasn't. What are my rights on this and can he dismiss me or demote me if I give him a letter of grievance?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Since September 2008, so 9 years 7 months
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** with me please, I will reply late this eve as am travelling right now

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi what time can I expect a reply please
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. This could indeed 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 resigns in response to it.

Whilst the alleged breach could be a breach of a specific contractual term, it is also common for a breach to occur when the implied term of trust and confidence has been broken. The conduct relied on could be a serious 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).

Before constructive dismissal is contemplated, it is recommended that a formal grievance is raised in order to officially bring the concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them. The employer cannot dismiss or demote you just for raising a grievance, but they could try and fine some other reason to justify it, so you never know what they have in mind. In any event, to dismiss they need to have a fair reason and if they cannot find that, it is very likely to be an unfair dismissal.

If resignation appears to be the only option going forward, it must be done in response to the alleged breaches (i.e. without unreasonable delay after they have occurred). Whilst not legally required, a resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without serving any notice period. It is also 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 with the employer. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of termination of employment to submit a claim in the employment tribunal.

It is worth mentioning that there is a possible alternative solution, where the employer is approached on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under such an agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company with no fuss and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, where both parties move on without the need for going to tribunal. However, it is an entirely voluntary process and the employer does not have to participate in such negotiations or agree to anything. It just means that these discussions cannot be brought up in any subsequent tribunal claim and prejudice either party. So there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them as the worst outcome is they say no, whereas if successful it can mean being allowed to leave in accordance with any pre-agreed terms, such as with compensation and an agreed reference.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you need to follow if you were to make a claim. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hello I have not received an answer yet and I have paid £38
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hi there, the answer was posted on this page last night at 12:52 and I can see it above - have you tried refreshing the page, just in case it has not loaded properly?