Constructive Dismissal Solicitors - Employment Compensation Claims

If an employer makes life so difficult for an employee that they have no option but to resign it is known as a constructive dismissal. It is effectively a forced resignation without the real consent of the employee who will need to show that the employer’s behaviour was wrongful in order to succeed in a compensation claim before the Employment Tribunal. A constructive dismissal solicitor may be able to take legal action as a result of just one serious single incident or as a result of a number of smaller breaches of the employment contract. An employee who is the victim of this unacceptable behaviour must make a decision to resign shortly after the event, if it is not rectified upon complaint, failure of which may be interpreted by an Employment Tribunal as acceptance or acquiescence in the new involuntary arrangement. As a result of a constructive dismissal an employee can make application to the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal and claim reinstatement or damages :-

    "An employer must not, without reasonable or proper cause, conduct himself in a manner calculated or likely to destroy or seriously damage the relationship of trust and confidence between the employer and the employee."

Employees are entitled to a positive work environment. No one should feel the need to resign to escape unsatisfactory conditions or unfair treatment. An employee who is forced to resign because of illegal working conditions or the unreasonable behaviour of their employer or co-workers did not willingly resign and is therefore the victim of 'constructive dismissal'. English law empowers anyone subjected to wrongful termination of employment with the right to claim compensation.

Our solicitors are experienced in all areas of employment law, including the complex issues surrounding constructive dismissal. Our constructive dismissal solicitors deal with claims for involuntary resignation forced on an employee due to the unacceptable behaviour of others. They are experts in their field and where possible they negotiate settlement failing which they will make application to Employment Tribunal to resolve any dispute. If you would like to discuss your potential claim with a specialist lawyer with no charge and with no obligation just use the helpline or complete and send the contact form or email our solicitors offices.

Compensation or Reinstatement

A constructive dismissal solicitor must show that the applicant was effectively dismissed (not made redundant) in a manner that was harsh, unjust or unreasonable and in a manner that was an effective repudiation of the contract of employment or implied contract of employment. If the boss makes life at work impossible and you have no reasonable option than to resign, then that constitutes constructive dismissal. The same may be said of subordinates to management or other co-workers however it is sensible in that case to make a full record of the behaviour in the form of a diary and make complaint to management or a union representative which if not rectified in short order may justify resignation on the basis of constructive dismissal. The Employment Tribunal may in due course order reinstatement on acceptable terms or may make an award of financial compensation if reinstatement is not appropriate.

If the unacceptable behaviour of others in the workplace has forced you to resign, you may be eligible for compensation from your employer for constructive dismissal damages. The success of your solicitors application before the Employment Tribunal is almost completely dependent on your employer’s and/or co-workers’ behaviour during, before and after the incidents in question that caused you to resign. A constructive dismissal solicitor will be able to advise you on the likely outcome of a compensation claim to the Employment Tribunal.

Unlawful Working Environment

To be able to carry out the duties of employment economically and efficiently, the work environment should be conducive to the production of quality results. Employees should not be subjected to unpleasant, abusive or oppressive conditions at work that are such as to force them to resign. If they terminate their employment because they cannot bear the stress arising from their working conditions or the unfair practices of their employer or a colleague they may be considered to be victims of constructive dismissal since they did not resign of their own free will. Victims of constructive dismissal have the right to claim compensation for the injustice done to them by making application to the Employment Tribunal if negotiations for a settlement are not productive.

An employee can leave a job immediately when subjected to illegal or unlawful working conditions or treatment. The legally binding terms of an employment contract becomes void by unlawful actions. Constructive dismissal solicitors can answer questions about a specific situation. They can tell you what constitutes illegal and unlawful working conditions or treatment and inform you of your rights and options.

Substantial evidence is needed to prove these cases and the ex-employee needs to present a valid case for compensation by the Employment Tribunal by providing detailed information about the circumstances that forced their resignation.

It is advisable for anyone who feels they are being unfairly and possibly illegally treated to keep a diary of events. The employee may eventually feel forced into resigning. They may then need to take legal action to recover financial losses including loss of earnings. Records of relevant events make legal action easier and faster by helping prove the unacceptable conditions which forced their resignation. It is also useful to keep any written evidence, such as meeting minutes, altered contracts or memos.

Anyone who is finding their working conditions unacceptable and believes they would have a case to take to the Employment Tribunal if they were to resign should seek urgent legal advice from a qualified employment solicitor before taking any action. Immediate losses can include post-resignation salary, bonuses owed, commissions owed, leave pay and holiday pay. Anyone considering leaving a job should seek specialist advice to find out their options. A constructive dismissal solicitor can give advice on how to gather evidence and how to strengthen your claim.

Everyone has the same employment rights from the highest levels of management to the most junior staff. Anyone whose rights are breached is entitled to seek justice and compensation.


When an employee is forced to resign due to the intolerable behaviour of others there may be a situation where the employer must pay the employee damages as constructive dismissal compensation. Whether or not a solicitors application for compensation to the Employment Tribunal will succeed is almost entirely dependent on the behaviour of the employer and/or his employees before, during and after the unacceptable incidents or series of incidents that caused the resignation.

When an employee resigns in the following situations, which are by no means exhaustive and are given by way of example only, they are eligible for compensation for constructive dismissal from their employers :-

  • Dishonest or criminal work practices
  • intolerable work environment
  • abusive boss or colleagues
  • general unfair treatment
  • racial prejudice, discrimination or harassment
  • sexual prejudice, discrimination or harassment
  • bullying in the workplace
  • prejudice or abuse due to disabilities, age, pregnancy, religion or sexual preference

One serious incident is enough

For employees to work efficiently it is inevitably necessary that they are placed in a calm environment and should not be subject to abusive or stressful conditions which they find to be intolerable or oppressive. Whilst in exceptional circumstances just one serious incident is sufficient to ground a claim for constructive dismissal compensation most successful applications to the Employment Tribunal arise out of a series of incidents designed by the perpetrator to put the victim under the burden of intolerable stress often with the specific blunt intent of forcing a resignation. There are however more subtle campaigns often aimed at just one individual that may have the same effect but are intended only to be offensive for whatever reason, usually for the amusement of the perpetrator and his friends or colleagues, that nevertheless cause a resignation. In these circumstances the perpetrator often expresses indignation that the victim should find the ‘jocular’ comments offensive, when it is plain to see that that the offender crossed the line of decency or reasonableness a very long time ago.

Banter - Only joking?

Also, there are more subtle efforts that may end in the same result but which are designed simply to humiliate or offend the victim, or sometimes to amuse the offender and his or her fellow employees. These instances typically involve an offender who tries to claim he or she was “just joking,” though the comments and/or actions in question are clearly offensive and intolerable.

Direct and indirect behaviour

Behaviour that crosses the line and will cause constructive dismissal may be classed as either direct or indirect. For the behaviour to be direct it usually consists of constant bullying or a series of insults aimed directly at the victim that can include sex or race discrimination or harassment and abusive language. Behaviour that is indirect can take many forms including age or disability discrimination or making offensive comment about a group of people of which the victim is a member or of which the victim’s family or friends are members.

Unacceptable changes to the job

One of the most common scenarios relating to constructive dismissal arises when the job description is substantially changed and the employee is expected to carry out work or to take on responsibilities that they did not bargain for when the employment started. If you feel that the change made in your contract by your employer will negatively affect your ability to carry out the work, then you should consider resigning immediately rather than enduring unfair conditions for several months and then resigning if you cannot accept that type of treatment any longer. Claims made immediately after a change is made in the contract are more credible and stand a better chance of success compared to those where the applicant waited for a longer period of time before deciding to leave. A compensation claim should however be preceded by a grievance filed by the affected employee to allow the employer the opportunity to rectify matters. It is advisable to take qualified legal advice from an employment solicitor before resigning to ensure that your potential compensation claim does not fail due to erroneous procedure.


Legal cases are won or lost on the evidence available and on the quality of that evidence. The affected employee should be able to produce concrete and extensive evidence on what transpired to force them to resign in order to make a successful constructive dismissal compensation claim. It is advisable for potential claimants to keep contemporaneous notes or a diary of the incidents that occurred when they felt that they were mistreated. It is also recommended that they keep any other evidence including memos, minutes of meetings and written alterations to contracts and to also make a note of anyone else who was present on appropriate occasions.