It is important to understand the differences between claiming compensation for unfair dismissal and claiming constructive dismissal compensation. Here we explain both with the option to read more on the area that applies to you.
Compensation for Unfair Dismissal
Compensation for unfair dismissal can be claimed where an employee has been dismissed for reasons that are deemed unfair, or where an employer has not followed the correct procedures outlined by law, for terminating an employee’s contract. Unfair dismissal can be described as termination of employment for reasons other than performance or ability. A person cannot be fired because of their sex, gender, race, pregnancy, disability, for being a member of a Union, for taking advantage of their employment rights or for taking reasonable action to protect themselves and others in relation to health and safety in the workplace. In any case where they are laid off for these reasons, a Court of Law will find the employer guilty of unfair dismissal.
Sometimes the employer has genuine reasons for terminating a contract, for example, they have to lower pay or status of an employee because of restructuring or re-organization of a company because of the company’s performance issues, but at other times the employer has behaved poorly and forced the issue with an employee through delaying wages or drastically altering pay and conditions, or there may have been verbal abuse or bullying or a simple lack of support for the employee as they tried to fulfill their role.
Constructive Dismissal Compensation
Constructive dismissal compensation is awarded when an employee wins their case having proved that they had no option but to leave their place of employment perhaps because treatment of them was unfair or discriminatory in some way. At the heart of constructive dismissal compensation lies the charge that there has been a breach of duty and trust on the part of the employer, and that the employer has behaved in such a way that the employee is unable to continue in the workplace because conditions are insufferable for the employee. Therefore constructive dismissal compensation will be awarded to an employee who can prove that an employer was in breach of contract and made the working life of the employee so intolerable that they had no choice but to leave. In effect although an employee might resign, the resignation is not actually voluntary because the employee has felt compelled to resign in order to escape the situation.
In any claim for constructive dismissal compensation an employee will need to show that the behavior of the employer has undermined their relationship of trust. This may be because the employee has become isolated or hasn’t had a grievance dealt with properly.
Most claims for constructive dismissal compensation are particularly hard to prove as often they rely on hearsay rather than actual evidence. It is important that the employee is able to demonstrate that they left the job because of reasons stated and not because they received a more interesting job offer. It is also reasonable to assume that if the employee had a grievance prior to terminating their employment, they did try to work it out through the grievance procedure within the company or organization first. Constructive dismissal compensation often reflects loss of earnings so it can be substantial.
What Should You Do Next?
In the event that you need to explore either compensation for unfair dismissal or making a claim for constructive dismissal compensation, the next thing you should do is seek advice from a professional. A lawyer will be able to discuss with you whether you have been the victim of unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal. They will support your right to make a claim against your previous employer and put together a severance package that will include adequate compensation.