Sometimes personal values and the values embodied by an employer and its actions can be sadly out of alignment. An employee may look at the way in which their employer is conducting themselves and feel that they can no longer remain part of that operation. When an employee decides that they have no choice but to resign because of an employer’s conduct, then they may be entering the legal realm of “constructive unfair dismissal”.
Reasons to resign
Some may feel compelled to resign if they are not being paid at the agreed frequency or, indeed, amount. Others may feel they are being bullied or discriminated against. If the employee has raised a problem or concern and their employer ignores this or refuses to look into it, then resignation may be the only option.
If the employer makes unreasonable changes to working conditions or working hours or the location in which someone is required to work, this may leave the employee with no other option.
Clearly, resigning is a serious step and anyone would be well advised to seek legal advice before taking it, as winning a claim of this type is not always easy at an employment tribunal.
If you are thinking of lodging a constructive dismissal claim, then it is worth determining whether you have the grounds for doing so. It could be worth looking at a reputable source of information such as https://www.employmentlawfriend.co.uk/constructive-dismissal for more details.
Before committing to resignation, it is invariably a good idea to first raise a grievance with your employer to determine whether the issue can be resolved amicably. If you subsequently decide to proceed with resignation, your employer may offer you a settlement agreement. Be very careful, since signing a settlement agreement will almost certainly mean you cannot make a claim for constructive dismissal.
Your resignation should take the form of a letter in which you set out your reasons for resigning. You may have a notice period to work through, but if the incident driving your resignation is serious, then you may wish to leave straight away. Doing so may have repercussions and seeking legal advice is a good move before you do anything. Leaving your job without working through your notice period may constitute a breach of contract.
If you decide to go ahead with a claim, in most cases, you have three months less one day from the date you left your employer. Your employment is generally considered to have ended on the day you handed in your notice or the final day of any notice period you’re required to work.
If you wish to make a claim, you can generally do so, provided that you have worked for your employer for at least two years and have the status of employee with them.
Deciding to resign from your job is a big step as is opting to launch a claim for constructive dismissal. You need to ensure that you have sufficient evidence and communications or paperwork to support this. If your employer had a grievance or complaints process, you may need to demonstrate that you followed this properly and completed all the necessary steps. You are likely to require legal advice to ascertain whether you have sufficient grounds to proceed and whether the evidence you have is strong enough to take your claim to a tribunal. Doing your research before you take any major steps is always recommended.