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Constructive Dismissal


I need an employment solicitor to help me with constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal is when an employee resigns in response to the actions of their employer. If an employer has created a working environment that the employee feels is hostile or unsafe, the employee may resign and claim they had no other choice.

Things to consider if you are thinking about constructive dismissal

It is not easy to succeed with a claim for constructive dismissal; deciding to resign should always be a last resort. An employment solicitor can give advice on your specific situation and help you to think about whether to resign or not. To be successful, you will need to show that –

  • your employer has committed a breach of contract,
  • you felt forced to leave because of the breach;
  • you have resigned immediately because of the breach

Has your employer committed a breach of contract?

You are less likely to be successful in a constructive dismissal claim unless you can show that your employer has committed a breach of contract. A breach of contract occurs if your employer makes fundamental changes to your contract without your agreement.

Examples of a breach of contract that could lead to constructive dismissal:

  • changing you from day shifts to night shifts,
  • demoting you in order to put someone else in your position could also be a breach of contract
  • giving you a pay cut without negotiating with you
  • your employer taking away safety equipment or procedures which make your work environment dangerous
  • bullying or violence against you or others

You can claim constructive dismissal because your employer has a duty to ensure that you work in a safe environment, and they are breaching that duty.

These are examples only, they are not automatically going to give rise to a claim for constructive dismissal. Each situation will depend on the individual facts of the case. You should seek proper legal advice from a solicitor or you could get a Union rep to help before deciding to resign.

It has to be a last resort

If you are just having an unpleasant time at work, this will not usually be sufficient to entitle you to resign and claim constructive dismissal. It is advisable to use your employer’s grievance procedure to help improve your working environment.  If you have done so, and there is still no improvement, speak to one of the employment solicitors at Levin’s to find out if you have a case for constructive dismissal.

Do you have to resign?

In a word – yes! Do you have to resign immediately – pretty much!

The breach which causes you to resign could occur as a single serious incident or because of a sequence of incidents. Generally, an employee seeking constructive dismissal must have resigned very soon after one of the acts. If you continue to work in that environment without resigning, you may be considered to have accepted the conditions.


If you are considering resigning, contact our employment solicitors at Levin’s to get some excellent advice on your employment case. Call Levins Solicitors on 0151 480 5777 and ask to speak to our employment team, we’re here to help. Alternatively, you can fill out the contact form our Employment Law Page and we will be in touch.




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