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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 67910
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am currently off work with depression and have been for 2

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I am currently off work with depression and have been for 2 months. I have heard that one of my trustees has informed my staff of my condition , has this broken data protection and would this be cause for me to go for constructive dismissal , due to the undermining of my position as general manager ?
JA: Have you discussed the forced resignation with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No as I am currently still under the doctor, but this has possibly made it hard for me to return
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am an employee, general manager overseeing 30 staff
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no just after where I stand as the trustee should not of divulged that information

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

How long have you worked there for? Please note I am mobile today so may not be able to reply until later today thanks

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
4 years next month
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The trustee had no right to tell any of my staff the reason I was off, my boss had informed them I was off sick

Many thanks for your patience. Whether tis is a data protection breach will depend on whether they held any information about your condition in writing and if they did, then it can indeed be argued that disclosing it to others, without your consent, amounts to a breach. In addition, it will also amount to a likely breach of trust and confidence, which is an implied term that exists in every employment relationship.

On that basis, it 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 resigns in response to it.

Before constructive dismissal is considered, 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.

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). Whilst not strictly 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 the employer 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.

Does this answer your query?

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can simply reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’ and I won’t bother you again. Thank you

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? I have not heard back from you since posting my answer and just need to know if your query has been resolved. If you could please post a quick reply to confirm I would be very grateful. Thank you

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your answer , much appreciated and i will take the advice given

All the best

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