Constructive dismissal claims and compensation solicitors

If you believe you could have a claim for constructive dismissal, our employment law solicitors can help you.

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What is constructive dismissal?

Constructive dismissal is when you have been forced to resign with immediate effect as a result of your employer’s conduct.

It could be due to a serious breach of contract or the ‘last straw’ in a series of events that have damaged the mutual trust between you and your employer.

For example, it may be that the employer demotes the employee for no apparent reason, or that they let other employees harass and bully the employee.

Other examples of employer conduct that could amount to constructive dismissal include forcing the employee to accept unreasonable changes to their employment, such as moving them onto a different shift or changing the work that they do. If the employee then feels that as a result of these actions, their only option is to terminate their employment then this could amount to constructive dismissal.

Employees should take employment law advice before resigning as these are particularly risky claims to bring in the tribunal.

Our fixed fees for constructive dismissal claims start from £240 (including VAT) to draft a grievance letter on your behalf. We can also carry out an investigation report in which we review your documents and advise you on the prospects of your case succeeding. The fee for this starts from £450 (including VAT), depending on the complexity of the case.

What’s the difference between constructive dismissal and unfair dismissal?

Constructive dismissal is when the employee ends the employment themselves because of the way their employer has acted. Unfair dismissal is when an employer ends an employee’s contract without good reason or without following the correct procedure. It’s crucial to take employment law advice before resigning.

Find out more about unfair dismissal claims

How to make a claim for constructive dismissal

To make a statutory constructive unfair dismissal claim, you usually need to have been employed for two years before you resign.

To make a claim in the Tribunal for constructive dismissal, you must start Early Conciliation with ACAS within 3 months less one day of your resignation. Early Conciliation can take up to 6 weeks. Once it has ended, you have limited time to lodge your Tribunal claim and you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

For your constructive dismissal claim to succeed at the Employment Tribunal, you must be able to show all of the following:

  • your employer was in fundamental breach of your employment contract and the breach was so serious that it went to the root of the contract
  • you resigned as a direct result of the breach of contract and not for any other reason
  • you did not delay in resigning – any delay could indicate that you accepted the breach of contract and this diminishes your right to claim

Be aware that these are very risky claims to bring in the tribunal and you should not resign until you have sought legal advice.

If you have raised your concerns informally with your employer and they have failed to deal with the issues, consider lodging a formal written grievance immediately.

Your employer should follow their workplace grievance policy. If they do not have their own policy, ACAS recommends that:

  • a formal meeting is arranged without unreasonable delay
  • you are allowed a companion at the meeting
  • you are given the opportunity to explain your grievance and how you think it could be resolved
  • your employer investigates the grievance and remains impartial
  • your employer communicates their decision in writing on what action, if any, is to be taken
  • you are given the option to appeal the decision
  • any appeal is to be dealt with promptly and impartially
  • communication between you and your employer is clear, regular and confidential

If the issue isn’t resolved by the grievance process, lodge an appeal. If you have raised a grievance and are thinking of resigning, get legal advice before you do. Constructive dismissal claims can be difficult to bring, and they come with a high litigation risk.

If your employer fails to comply with ACAS’s Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures, this can increase your compensation by up to 25% if your constructive dismissal claim succeeds. If you are responsible for the failure to comply, though, an employment tribunal may reduce your compensation by up to 25%.

Your help made a big difference to my ability to stand my ground with my employers. Thank you. (Miss A., Hertfordshire)

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Solicitors fees for constructive dismissal

Our employment law solicitors have years of expertise dealing with complex constructive dismissal cases. We have a positive track record in resolving disputes on the best possible terms for our customers and we only represent employees; we do not advise or represent employers.

Once we have provided you with a written quote for the agreed work, that price will not change unless the original information we are given is shown to be incorrect or circumstances change.

Once you contact us, we will make an objective assessment of your case. We will only advise you to pursue claims with ACAS and ultimately the employment tribunal if we believe that your claims have merit.

Funding your employment law claim

We provide fixed fee employment law services. We can provide a 1 hour consultation with an employment solicitor for £240 (including VAT) or a comprehensive claims report for £450 (including VAT).

We also offer hourly rate services for more complex employment claims and funding through legal expenses insurance (LEI).

Find out more about our fees and how to fund your employment law claim.