What is the UK law on constructive dismissal?


To bring a claim for constructive dismissal, UK law requires employees to have been in continuous employment for one year. However, this time limit is due to be extended. If you bring a claim after 6 April 2012, you must have been with your employer for two years. Continuous employment normally means working for an employer without a break in employment. When calculating a period of one year, a month means a calendar month and a year means twelve calendar months.

To claim for constructive dismissal, UK law requires the claimant to launch their claim within three months of resigning. However, there are some exceptions to this rule in some circumstances. Generally speaking though, you should bring a claim as soon as practicable.

If an employee brings a claim for constructive dismissal, UK law on wrongful dismissal may also become applicable for the following reasons. In constructive dismissal cases, employees would not have served a notice period (because they resigned). However, if an employee's claim for constructive dismissal is successful, they are deemed to be dismissed by their employer even though they resigned. Therefore, they have effectively been dismissed without notice. This would normally give rise to a claim for wrongful dismissal.

Wrongful dismissal and constructive dismissal claims can be brought together in an employment tribunal. The time limit for bringing a wrongful dismissal claim is the same as a constructive dismissal claim.

If you would like to obtain legal advice and information on bringing or defending a constructive dismissal claim, Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist Employment Solicitor free of charge.  So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local Employment Solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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