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Constructive Unfair Dismissal

What is a Constructive Unfair Dismissal?

Have you resigned because you feel you have had no choice but to terminate your employment contract due to your employer's behaviour or conduct? Do you feel you have been forced out of your job because of the treatment you've endured at work? You may have a claim for constructive dismissal. If so, an employee is constructively dismissed if s/he resigns because of the way they have been treated.

To claim constructive unfair dismissal, the employee must show that:

  • The employee was treated badly in breach of the employer's duty of trust and confidence  
  • and the breach was sufficiently serious, entitling the employee to resign
  • and the employee resigned because of that breach of trust and confidence.

An employee who resigns in such circumstances can present a claim for constructive unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal.

Qualifications for bringing a Constructive Unfair Dismissal claim

  • To proceed, you must be an employee (rather than an independent contractor or self-employed), and must have been working for at least two years (although this requirement is subject to exceptions, for example, if the dismissal was pregnancy related).
  • Furthermore, it is advisable for an employee to pursue a grievance with their employer prior to presenting a claim to an Employment Tribunal. The  consequence of an employee's failure to raise a grievance is that should the claim be heard by the Employment tribunal then their compensation could be reduced by up to 25%.


  • Employees who are successful in their claim for constructive unfair dismissal can request compensation.
  • In order to achieve the maximum possible compensation, employees must be able to demonstrate to an Employment Tribunal that they have attempted to find alternative employment.

If you resigned and think you have a claim for constructive unfair dismissal, phone Ashley Hunt , Vaishali Thakerar or Carrie-Ann Randall on 0116 212 1000 or complete the form on the right. Lawson-West offer a free initial consultation so it won't cost you a penny to find out whether you have a claim for constructive unfair dismissal. We also run a number of free walk-in advice clinics at our offices in Leicester, Wigston & Market Harborough.