Constructive Dismissal

Has an employee resigned as a result of your alleged breach of contract?

If you need help with a Constructive Dismissal claim against your business, our employment law experts can help.

If an employee is claiming they have had to resign as a result of you committing a serious breach of contract, you may be open to a construction dismissal claim. It is vitally important that you and your business seek legal advice as soon as possible to defend these claims.

Our Liverpool, Manchester and St Helens employment solicitors can help you through the employment tribunal process, defending you against any potential claims, and also providing advice on how to avoid future claims.

To speak to one of our friendly team, call 0800 046 9976 or fill out an enquiry form here.


What is Constructive Dismissal?

Constructive dismissal occurs where an employee resigns from their job, with no notice given, due to their employer’s conduct. This would normally involve their employer acting in a way that fundamentally breaches the employment contract, in such a way that is impossible for the employee to continue working there.

It is not sufficient for the employee to simply allege they have been mistreated. They must show how and when their employer has breached a serious or fundamental part of the employment contract.

If the employer cannot negotiate a fair settlement agreement, employees who succeed with a constructive dismissal claim will usually be awarded Basic Award and Compensatory Award compensation.


Examples of Constructive Dismissal

Examples of employer behaviour that can lead to constructive dismissal include:

  • A reduction in pay or hours
  • Changes in employment duties or employment status
  • Changes in location where there is no mobility clause in the contract
  • Excessive workload
  • Failure to address a grievance
  • Discrimination
  • Bullying

It may be relatively straightforward to prove some of these contractual breaches. It is, however, much more complicated to prove constructive dismissal claims based on breaches of trust and confidence. Our team can advise on how likely your former employee is to win their case and what your next steps might be.

Statistically, constructive dismissal claims are the hardest of all for an employee to succeed in an Employment Tribunal because the burden of proof is on them to prove the breach of contract.


Is my employee eligible to make a Constructive Dismissal claim?

Your employee has the right to bring forward a constructive dismissal claim to an employment tribunal if:

  • They are classed as an “employee”
  • They have worked at your company for 2 years or more
  • They make the claim within 3 months less one day of when they resigned

The employee must also begin “early conciliation” through ACAS before going the employment tribunal. If they have not gone through this process, it is likely their complaint will be thrown out.


What’s the difference between Constructive and Unfair Dismissal?

Constructive dismissal occurs where your employee has been forced to resign due to the employer’s conduct. It is referred to as a “dismissal”, but in reality, the employee is resigning from their post.

An unfair dismissal occurs when the employee has been sacked by the employer in a way that is unlawful. This is the employer’s decision and usually occurs when one of the five fair reasons for dismissal do not apply.


How can Smooth Commercial Law help?

We understand that having a potential constructive dismissal filed against your company can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. If your former employee has brought a claim against you, our expert employment solicitors can talk you through your next steps.

Our team at Smooth Commercial Law can help you recognise if a contractual breach has occurred and, if it has, advise on what your options are. Our expert Liverpool, Manchester and St Helens Constructive Dismissal team can guide you through the process, step by step.

If you have any questions about constructive dismissal, the process of defending a claim, and your legal rights, contact our experienced Liverpool, Manchester, St Helens, and North West employment tribunal solicitors by calling 0800 046 9976 or by emailing You can also contact us through our enquiry form here.