Case study: potential constructive dismissal claim against employer

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Our client came to us whilst she was experiencing a complete breakdown of trust and confidence in her working relationship with her employer.

Her employer had breached numerous express and implied terms of her employment contract. They had varied its terms without her consent and changed the terms of her bonus and commission scheme without notification or consultation. Her employer had also demoted her to a reduced role.

Our client understandably felt she had been mistreated. Her employer’s conduct was causing her a great deal of stress and anxiety, and she did not feel able to continue in her job.

Potential constructive dismissal claim

Our Employment team advised our client on the various options available to her, including her potential constructive dismissal claim. Our client was adamant that she did not wish to continue working for her employer. With our guidance and support, she found the courage to hand in her resignation letter, drafted by us.

The letter informed the employer that our client would be proceeding to ACAS early conciliation and then to tribunal proceedings on the basis of a constructive dismissal case. This was unless they could come to an amicable solution whereby she was paid appropriate compensation for the termination of her employment (as she was left no choice but to resign) and her loss of bonus and commission. Our client’s employer was uncooperative.

Commencing the ACAS early conciliation process

Our Employment solicitors commenced the ACAS early conciliation process on our client’s behalf. We liaised with an ACAS conciliator who guided and supported our client throughout the process. We also gathered supportive witness evidence to back our client’s claim. This included her employer’s conduct and the lack of a justifiable commercial reasoning to amend the bonus scheme (the fact it was a vindictive act carried out following a disagreement between the parties). It also considered the demotion and the impact that had on our client’s CV and future job hunt.

Our team carried out settlement negotiations on behalf of our client. Although her employer’s opening offer was not satisfactory, we successfully negotiated a higher settlement amount. We all agreed the best option for our client was to accept this and bring the matter to a conclusion. Our client was relieved to reach a settlement, having been distressed at the prospect of facing her employer at tribunal.

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