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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 75983
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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After two bereavements I took time off work. On return I was

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After two bereavements I took time off work. On return I was told I had taken up too much of my manager's time and had caused emotional issues to colleagues which impacted on their ability to do their job. I was told 'numerous people' said I 'had spoken to patients and their families about my situation'. Manager has since backtracked saying they were concerns about my well being not complaints. I have now been off work for coming up to three months stress/depression. I am due to return next week. I have been offered an apology for the way this was handled but the manager will not say the claims are untrue. I have now been told if I cannot 'draw a line under' and 'have a working relationship with my manager' I will have to move to another team. I have been in my role four years. Union rep told me best not 'to harp on' and take apology. Is it contructive dismissal if I am offered another role? Thank you.
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Manager, yes. HR no, lawyer no.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: employee yes, union yes.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Will you be offered another role or forced to take it? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I have been offered the same role in another team. I will have to interview and be accepted by that Team Manager. I am not being forced, but it has been made clear it would not be appropriate for me to return if I cannot work with my current manager. I had a mediation on 11/11 which did not go well as managers say they cannot tell me who made the claims as they were not complaints and therefore not investigated.

Hi there, so to clarify, this could potentially amount to constructive dismissal, which occurs when the following two elements are present:

- A 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. This is an implied term, of a contractual nature, which automatically exists in every employment relationship. It is there to ensure that the employer and employee treat each her fairly and reasonably. The breaches that could qualify could be a serious single one, or a series of less serious, but still relevant breaches 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 going forward, it must be done in response to the alleged breach(es) (i.e. without unreasonable delay after they have occurred, so as not to give the impression that these breaches have been affirmed). Whilst not strictly required, a resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without serving any notice period. The reason is that the whole argument would be that things had become so bad that the employee cannot even continue working there a day longer. It is also advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that the whole situation is being treated as constructive dismissal.

Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists.

It is also worth mentioning that there is a possible alternative solution to this, which could avoid the need for legal action. That is where the employer is approached on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record and with protection against these discussions being brought up in future legal proceedings) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. This can be done by asking for a meeting, or it can be done in writing, via letter or email. Under a settlement 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 the Employment Tribunal. However, it is an entirely voluntary process and the employer does not have to participate in such negotiations or agree to anything. There is nothing to lose by approaching this subject with the employer and testing the waters on this possibility - 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 follow this link to ACAS for some more general information about constructive dismissal:

https://www.acas.org.uk/dismissals/constructive-dismissal

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.