See also – ‘Unfair Dismissal’ – Constructive dismissal is where, because of the conduct of the employer, an employee may reasonably terminate their contract of employment with their employer without the need to give prior notice in writing. Constructive dismissal is viewed very seriously by Tribunals and is the equivalent of an employer unfairly dismissing an employee. The purpose of constructive dismissal is to prevent employers from trying to avoid unfair dismissal claims by forcing the employee to resign through some inappropriate behaviour.
If an employee claims they have been constructively dismissed then the ‘onus of proof’ at Tribunal hearings differs slightly from a normal claim of unfair dismissal. As a result, employees must prove that they had no option but to terminate their contract and that their decision to leave was reasonable. This differs from normal unfair dismissal claims where the onus is on the employer to prove that their decision to dismiss was fair and reasonable.
The maximum award for constructive dismissal is two year’s pay in compensation. A tribunal may also order that the employee be reinstated or re-engaged.