Understanding Constructive Dismissal: Rights, Remedies, and Legal Recourse

Constructive dismissal is a legal term that refers to a situation where an employee resigns from their job due to the employer’s conduct, which breaches the employment contract and makes continued employment intolerable. It essentially means the employee was forced to quit because of the employer’s actions or omissions. This can be a complex legal issue, and it’s important for both employees and employers to understand the rights, remedies, and legal recourse available in such cases.

Rights of Employees in Constructive Dismissal Cases:

Employees have certain rights when it comes to constructive dismissal:

  1. Breach of Contract: Employees have the right to work in an environment that is safe, fair, and respectful. When an employer breaches the terms of the employment contract, such as by changing job duties without agreement, reducing pay or benefits without justification, or subjecting the employee to harassment or discrimination, it can constitute constructive dismissal.
  2. Notice Period: Even in cases of constructive dismissal, employees are typically entitled to a notice period or payment in lieu of notice as per their employment contract or statutory rights. This notice period allows the employee time to find alternative employment.
  3. Employment Rights: Employees retain all their statutory employment rights in cases of constructive dismissal. This includes rights related to discrimination, whistleblowing, and protection against unfair dismissal.

Remedies Available to Employees:

When an employee successfully proves constructive dismissal, they may be entitled to various remedies:

  1. Compensation: Employees may be awarded compensation for loss of earnings, including the notice period, and for any financial losses incurred as a result of the dismissal.
  2. Reinstatement or Re-Engagement: In some cases, employees may seek reinstatement to their former position or re-engagement in a similar role within the company.
  3. References:Employers may be required to provide a neutral or positive reference to the employee to assist them in securing future employment.

Legal Recourse and Involvement of Solicitors:

Constructive dismissal cases often require legal expertise, and both employees and employers may seek the services of solicitors specializing in employment law:

  1. Constructive Dismissal Solicitors: Employees who believe they have been constructively dismissed can consult with solicitors specializing in employment law. These solicitors can assess the situation, advise on the strength of the case, and represent the employee in negotiations or legal proceedings.
  2. Employment Rights Solicitor: Employers facing allegations of constructive dismissal may engage an employment rights solicitor to defend their position. These solicitors can review the facts, advise on legal strategies, and represent the employer in dispute resolution or tribunal hearings.
  3. Legal Recourse: In constructive dismissal cases, legal recourse may involve mediation, negotiation, or taking the matter to an employment tribunal or court. Solicitors play a crucial role in navigating these processes, ensuring that their client’s rights and interests are protected.

It’s important to note that constructive dismissal cases require thorough documentation of the events leading to the resignation, including any communications, policies, or actions that support the employee’s claim. Solicitors can assist in gathering and presenting this evidence effectively.


Constructive dismissal is a significant legal issue that requires careful consideration of rights, remedies, and legal recourse. Both employees and employers can benefit from seeking advice and representation from experienced solicitors specializing in employment law, such as Orpen Franks Solicitors LLP, to navigate these complex matters effectively. Orpen Franks Solicitors LLP can provide the expertise needed to assess the strength of a case, represent clients in negotiations or legal proceedings, and ensure that their rights and interests are protected throughout the process.

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