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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70335
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Morning, I raised a formal grievance based on a breach of

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Morning, I raised a formal grievance based on a breach of trust with my employer. In brief; they failed to
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: set my objectives last year, I raised the point in July 2019, and didn’t have them set until end October 19. Since October I had no role or responsibilities (therefore failing my objectives) my end of year bonus and salary increase in dependant on my performance. (It’s more complex than this) I stated I got the impression I was being managed out of the business/set up to fail etc. If my employer doesn’t uphold my grievance, do I have grounds to resign and claim constructive dismissal at Tribunal? Many thanks Sorry it cut off half way through :)
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Yes discussed with both several times since July
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: employed FT for almost 7 years

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.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Ben, not a problem. Thank you :)

Can I just check, has your employment been continuous?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
continuous since July 2013

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. If you seriously believe that you are being set up to fail and that the employer has deliberately or negligently failed to do things expected of them, which in turn has affected your pay or job security, you may indeed consider the constructive dismissal option.

Constructive dismissal 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. This is a term which automatically exists in every employment relationship. The conduct relied on could be a serious single act, or a series of less serious, but still relevant, 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 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?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Ben, thank you for your advice. It does to some extent yes, I suppose my only remaining query is, would my situation hold up at tribunal?
And do I have the legal ground to take it that far, or will I effectively be laughed out of the room. I have raised a formal grievance, and prior to that had several meetings with my manager and HR to no avail. I am going to discuss a settlement at the grievance meeting tomorrow, because I am in a position where I feel my being in the company is now untenable. Thanks in advance for your help. Alicia

Unfortunately, the rules I work under do not allow me to discuss your chances of success in court. When solicitors determine these, we would conduct a formal case analysis and take the full details and evidence that are available into consideration. On this site we deal with very limited information in a Q&A format, so inevitably certain details and evidence will be missed. Therefore, if we discussed prospects of success based on this limited information alone, we could end up giving misguided advice and prompt you into either making a claim or not making one, when in reality we may have advised the opposite had we known the full details. That is why we are only limited to discussing the legal position and your options, without actually commenting on how good or bad a case you have. Hope this explains things for you

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Understood. Thank you very much for your advice

All the best