Are there specific industries more prone to constructive dismissal cases?

specific industries more prone to constructive dismissal cases

There have been a plethora of constructive dismissal cases overseen by the courts in recent years, and as such, employers need to be aware of what it means. The concept is a little complicated; however, once one understands the basics of what it entails, it’s easy to see why so many employees are able to successfully claim constructive dismissal compensation from their former employer.

To put it simply, constructive dismissal is when an employee resigns because of intolerable working conditions that have been created by their employer. These intolerable working conditions could be a result of unreasonable behaviour from their employer such as ignoring their complaints, swearing at them in front of other employees, or not giving them adequate breaks.

A constructive dismissal case could also be the result of changes to their job role that make it impossible for them to carry out their normal duties. For example, a retailer might implement new systems that place heavy emphasis on sales targets while not providing enough staff to meet those demands. Alternatively, an employer might cut the pay of their workers in a way that has a negative impact on their financial well-being.

Whether or not an employee’s resignation was actually constructive dismissal, the process of making a complaint and getting a fair settlement from their employer is a long and difficult one. The employee must first have two years’ service before they can apply to an employment tribunal, and it’s also vital that they have been made aware of their rights by a qualified lawyer.

Are there specific industries more prone to constructive dismissal cases?

Once the application to the employment tribunal has been submitted, it will be examined by a judge or a panel of judges who will assess the evidence that has been provided by the employee and determine what compensation is appropriate. This could be a lump sum payment or an hourly rate of pay, and it will depend on the circumstances.

One of the biggest factors is how much the employee has lost as a result of the intolerable working conditions. This includes loss of earnings, loss of potential future earnings, and loss of pension or statutory leave entitlements. The judge or the panel will decide on this based on what is ‘fair and equitable in all the circumstances’ having regard to the amount of money that the complainant has lost as a result of the dismissal.

As a final point, it’s worth remembering that constructive dismissal is very different from unfair or wrongful dismissal. Wrongful dismissal involves a breach of contract, for instance if the employer doesn’t give the correct notice period as stated in their contract. Unfair dismissal, on the other hand, refers to an act that is considered to be discriminatory or a breach of an employment law regulation.

There is a distinct difference between these decision styles, with unitarists favouring the managerial prerogative to control non-conforming employees, and pluralists advocating for regulation of the employer’s actions by external parties such as industrial tribunals or courts (Cullinane and Dundon 2014). The difference is important because it helps explain why so many people can work under one employer yet still claim that they have been treated unfairly and need to seek compensation.

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