How to protect against claims of constructive dismissal
Author: Jo Plumstead
Click on any of the hyperlinks to go to more detailed guidance below.
- Understand what constructive dismissal is.
- Be aware that there can be a fundamental breach of both express and implied contract terms.
- Make sure that agreed contractual terms are recorded accurately and completely at the point of recruitment.
- Review what contractual terms are in force before changing workplace practices.
- When recruiting new employees consider building flexibility into the contract of employment to allow future changes.
- Seek employee consent to any change in terms that is more than trivial.
- Ensure that managers receive effective training in handling grievances and complaints.
- Introduce and monitor an effective bullying and harassment policy.
- Provide systems for dealing with concerns over health and safety.
- Observe the data protection principles with regard to data held on employees.
- Adopt a disciplinary procedure that provides for effective investigation of allegations before any hearing.
- If a grievance is received ensure that you follow the "Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures" and arrange a meeting to discuss it within a reasonable time. If possible resolve the issue at this stage.
- Be aware that constructive dismissal may result in a breach of contract claim or a claim for unfair dismissal.