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Forced Resignation - Constructive Dismissal

Constructive Dismissal

An employee can claim to have been constructively dismissed if they consider themselves to have been forced into resigning by the employer's conduct - if, for instance, their position, status, conditions or salary are adversely affected.

The test as to whether the employee can justifiably claim to have been constructively dismissed is whether the employer's conduct amounts to a serious breach of contract, justifying the employee's resignation and the employee resigned because of that conduct.

The conduct which is the subject of the employee's complaint must amount to a demonstration on the part of the employer that they do not consider themselves bound by all or part of the employment contract rather than a mere dispute over respective rights under that contract.

However, where the employee establishes that their termination did amount to constructive dismissal, this means only that they were in fact dismissed and not that the dismissal was automatically unfair or wrongful - the employer's action may still be justified when the merits of the dismissal are addressed.

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