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Employment Law

Constructive Dismissal

Constructive dismissal is where the employee terminates their contract of employment themselves, usually without notice because of the employer’s conduct.

The reason for the employee resigning must be a significant and serious one going to the heart of the employment contract or the employee-employer relationship.

Examples of serious breaches warranting constructive dismissal include:

– Unilateral change of the employee’s contract of employment, for example a change in job, significantly changed working hours, reduced rate of pay, change of location of work.

– Non-payment of wages.

– Demotion without reason or cause.

– Breach of Health & Safety rules in the workplace.

The circumstances in which constructive dismissal apply are not limited to the employer’s conduct and behaviour. The employer is also vicariously liable for the actions of their other employees. Therefore, an employer’s failure to protect or to properly protect an employee from bullying and harassment in the workplace can result in constructive dismissal.

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