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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75168
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have an employment law question, i have raised my issue

Customer Question

I have an employment law question
JA: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: i have raised my issue with my manager and HR department but want to know if I have a claim for constructive dissmisal
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: employee, I don’t belong to a union
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don’t think so
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Please explain your situation in some more detail

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I am working as a Senior Finance Business Partner but my job title was never amended when I was promoted. I have a new boss who has just announced a new structure and I now report into a new person who has been given the title of Senior Finance business Partner and the 3 people who reported into me now report to this person directly as well as myself
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
This is coming up as a fraud transaction
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** I just check how long you have worked for your employer please/

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Please also tell me what your specific query is so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
For about 7 years, do I have a claim for constructive dismissal
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

As a general background, constructive dismissal 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).

The issue here is that the employer is able to make organisation changes and shuffle around reporting lines, etc. They do not have to stick with the same rigid structure indefinitely and have their hands tied if they need to make changes to the business in that respect. That is what could make a constructive dismissal claim risky here.

In any event, before constructive dismissal is pursued, it is strongly 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, 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.

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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hello, following my main response above, I just wanted to check that everything was clear. If you have any further queries about this issue, you can reply to me at any time on this portal and I will be happy to help. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hello, I trust that everything has now been resolved to your satisfaction and your original question has been dealt with. 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.