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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49823
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Work in a boarding school, handed my notice in to finish at

Customer Question

Work in a boarding school, handed my notice in to finish at end of school year. My headmaster has written me a letter to say he wants me to stop work now and I will get paid until end of school year ( although he hasn't stated if this will be full pay) This is also my home as I live in school where do stand? He and I don't get on as he is a bully and I'm guessing he didn't like some of the things I put in my resignation letter. Can i also pursue a constructive dismissal case.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.
Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to be able to assist with your question today. Please let me know why did you resign?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Because when the headmaster arrived in September he took a lot of my duties away from me, he's aggressive and made it clear to be back then he didn't really want me to work here anymore. I stuck it out and then last week he told me I couldn't have my few hours off on Sat and Sun, so it was the final straw, he doesn't like me and doesn't want me to work here. And I'm not keen on him so made decision to hand in my notice but said I would stay until the end of summer term.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.
How long have you worked there for and is there a clause in your contract that says you can be paid in lieu of notice?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

For Ben Jones only

3 1/2 years. no clause in my contract about pay in lieu

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.
What does your contract say about the accommodation you get?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

For Ben Jones only

It says nothing about accommodation, but the flat comes with the job

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.
Hi sorry I was offline by the time you had replied last night. If you have resigned and handed in your notice period as per your contract, the employer should ideally allow you to work that period out and pay you as normal. However, there are times when they may wish to pay you in lieu of notice instead and ending your employment immediately. There will need to be a clause in your contract allowing them to do so, although they can still try and go down that route as long as you do not lose out financially.

As to the other issues:

1. Accommodation

When an employee is provided with accommodation by their employer, there are two possible ways in which they could be allowed to occupy the property:
• Under a tenancy
• Under a licence to occupy

The most common way would be to grant the employee a licence to occupy. Unless there was a formal tenancy agreement in place, or the occupier was granted exclusive possession of the property for a term in return for rent, it is assumed that a licence to occupy would have been granted.

If there is an employment contract in place then the first step would be to check what the terms under that contract are and determine the employee's rights that way.

In the absence of a contract or a clause dealing with the issue, the following assumptions can be made: if the employer wishes to remove the employee from the property they may only do so when the licence to occupy ends, which will occur in the following circumstances:
• If the employment contract ends;
• If the employee voluntarily leaves the property; or
• If the employer gives at least 4 weeks' notice.

Therefore, if the contract is terminated, the licence to occupy will terminate as soon as the contract ends. In any other case, the employer would be expected to give at least 4 weeks' notice because a licensee who occupies a property as a dwelling is entitled to that notice under Section 5 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

2. Constructive Dismissal

This 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 they, or their employees, have broken the implied 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).

If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without undue delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach has 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. If you are prepared to work your notice period that will affect your prospects of success as it will suggest that things were not that bad after all.

As an alternative to claiming constructive dismissal, the employer may be approached on a without prejudice basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a compromise agreement. Under a compromise 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.

Just to make a final, yet important point, constructive dismissal can be a difficult claim to win as the burden of proof is entirely on the employee. Therefore, constructive dismissal should only be used as a last resort and all else fails.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating as that is a very important part of our process. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you