Constructive dismissal compensation

When an employer creates intolerable working conditions, it may be grounds for a constructive dismissal claim. Understanding when this happens and what to look out for is crucial in protecting employee rights and ensuring fair treatment at work.

A constructive dismissal claim occurs when an employer breaches the implied term of trust and confidence that is included in every employment contract. The breach must be serious enough to make the employment relationship fundamentally change and be intolerable. Examples of breaches include:

The first step is always to try and resolve the issue internally with your employer before considering taking legal action. An employee can attempt to do this either informally or formally, verbally or in writing. Once this has been attempted, if the issues still persist, an employee can file a complaint with an employment tribunal.

Depending on the issue, the tribunal will decide whether it is a case of constructive dismissal or not. Often, tribunals will not award compensation until an employee has found alternative employment, but in the case of breach of trust and confidence, they may offer back pay or front pay. Back pay is based on the salary that was earned while you worked for your employer, and front pay compensates you for loss of earnings during trial.

It is also important to note that only around 5% of claims for constructive dismissal succeed in winning compensation. This is due to the difficulty of proving that you were dismissed and that it was a serious breach of your rights. To be successful, an employee needs to be able to prove that their employer’s conduct was sufficiently serious to warrant a resignation.

Constructive dismissal compensation?

In some cases, the breach may be a single incident, but it must be serious enough to prompt an immediate resignation. In others, it could be a series of incidents that collectively made the workplace intolerable and caused the employee to resign. It is essential to understand that an employer’s actions must be considered intolerable, and not simply uncomfortable or unpleasant.

For example, if an employer makes substantial changes to your work schedule or location without notice and explanation, this can create intolerable working conditions and amount to a breach of contract. Similarly, if they set excessively high performance standards that are impossible to meet, or if their performance reviews are unfair, this can cause you to resign.

It is important to remember that whistleblower laws and statutory discrimination laws protect employees who resign due to their employer’s misconduct. These laws prohibit retaliation for workers who report illegal activity, workplace sexual harassment, discrimination, or worker safety violations. It is also possible that your contract of employment may have clauses that protect you from being coerced to resign by an employer’s behaviour, so you should check this before you decide to resign. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you navigate the process and determine the best course of action. Daniel Badre is a renowned personal injury lawyer in Ottawa who has dedicated his career to representing the rights of clients. He is compassionate and tenacious in his pursuit of justice for his clients, and is committed to providing the best service possible.