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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75168
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I'd like to know if I have a case for constructive dismissal

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JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: I'd like to know if I have a case for constructive dismissal at my current job
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: in the uk england
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: none
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: nothing I can think of

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.

Please explain your situation in some more detail. What exactly has happened and how long have you worked for your employer please?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I've worked for my employee for almost 7 years. recently, we were taken over by another division of the same company, that does the same work. since then, my team has been reduced from 6 to 3, and although my salary and title have stayed the same, my role has changed significantly
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
typing is fine

OK thank you, ***** ***** do you feel this may be a case of constructive dismissal? How exactly has your role changed and were you consulted with regards ***** ***** changes and role?

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
we weren't consulted in advance, it was simply announced that the changes would be taking place. early on, in a teams video call, one of my team asked about reporting lines and the new ceo said they should report to the person who is now my boss. I flagged this with HR, at which point the new ceo back-tracked, but shortly afterwards, the new structure was announced.

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.

What has happened appears to be a change to your contract, even if a formal change has not been implemented in writing. There are occasions when an employer may try to make changes to an employee’s contract of employment. If they wish to do so, there are a few ways in which they can do it:

- They can ask for the employee to give their consent to the changes.

- They can rely on a flexibility clause in the contract, allowing for certain changes to be made

- They can give the employee the required notice to terminate their current contract and re-engage them under a new contract, which contains the desired changes.

- They can ignore all of the above and simply force the changes through with no notice or consultation.

Assuming consent is given, the changes can be implemented with a simple variation to the contract or a separate addendum. If the changes are not agreed, based on which method the employer adopts to implement them, the following options are available to employees to challenge such actions:

1. If there is a flexibility clause, it must be precise and allow the specific changes that are proposed. Clear language in the drafting of the clause will be required to allow such a right. Any attempt to rely on such clauses will also be subject to the requirement of the employer to act fairly and reasonably and be able to show that it was necessary to apply the required changes and that there was no other way to resolve the situation. Consultation is key in these circumstances.

2. If the employer gives the employee notice to terminate their current contract and re-engages them under a new one, it could potentially amount to unfair dismissal. However, the employer can try and justify their actions if they had a solid business reason for doing so, most commonly due urgent financial needs. If no such reasons exist and it appears to have been an opportunistic approach by the employer to implement changes, it is possible to make a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal, subject to having at least 2 years’ continuous service with that employer. This would be on the grounds that there has technically been a dismissal because the original contract was terminated by the employer.

3. If the employer forces the changes through, without any notice or consultation, the employee can start working on the new terms, then immediately write to the employer to make it clear that this is done ‘under protest’. This means that they do not agree with the changes but feel forced to work under them as they have no other option. In the meantime, they should try and resolve the issue by raising a formal grievance with the employer. This is only a short-term solution though as the longer someone works under the terms, even under protest, the more likely it is that they will eventually be deemed to have accepted them. Also, if the changes fundamentally impact the contract, for example changes to pay, duties, place of work, etc., it is also possible to consider resigning and making a claim constructive dismissal in the Employment Tribunal. The employee must accept the changes and immediately resign in response to them. A claim is again dependent on the employee having at least 2 years' continuous service with that employer.

Please see here for further information about this topic

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.

Hello, 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.