Constructive Dismissal

What is a standard Constructive Dismissal Claim ?.

A claim for constructive dismissal is one brought on the basis that an employee’s work life has become intolerable due to conduct of the employer, and they had no alternative but to leave that employment. As the resignation was not truly voluntary, it is in effect a termination.

What should you do, if this situation arises in your working life ?

  • Speak to your line manager or someone from your HR department. Try to resolve the matter through the normal chain, if possible. Record your efforts.
  • Follow the standard grievance procedure prior to resignation. 
  • Follow the Industrial relations procedures prior to resignation
  • Ask your Solicitor for advice before resigning. Prevention is always number 1. and cure number 2.
  • Only resign when all the avenues have been exhausted and essentially you have done what you can do.

What is the Workplace Relations Commission ?

The Workplace Relations Commission is an independent body in Ireland for the resolution of employment disputes, which can be resolved with the benefit of medication or an adjudicator. 

Can I appeal a decision of an Adjudicator Officer ? 

Yes, an appeal can be made to the Labour Court within a strict timeframe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the compensation for constructive dismissal in Ireland ?      

The maximum compensation one can obtain in a successful constructive dismissal claim is 104 weeks remuneration. 

How do I make a claim for Constructive Dismissal ?

One makes claim by completing and submitting an application form which can be located on the Workplace Relations Commission website see here.

There are very strict legal time frames one has to make such a claim which is only within 6 months from the date of dismissal. Also, one should obtain legal advice before assessing the date of dismissal as unfortunately it is not a straightforward matter in Irish Employment law as we have no codified legislation, so there are a number of Acts to consider when assessing what is the actual date of dismissal.

How difficult is it to prove Constructive Dismissal ?

Constructive dismissal actions can be difficult to prove as there is a heavy burden on the employee in these actions, in our opinion.

Not only is the burden of proof on the employee in this action, unlike an unfair dismissal action, but the employee must also show they exhausted all internal grievance mechanisms prior to the date of dismissal, and this can be an onerous duty in circumstances where the employee left the employment due to the conduct of the employer which may have become unbearable, so in many instances the employee leaves too early without availing of each and every internal grievance procedure available, and then the employer relies upon this in such actions to successfully defend them on many occasions.

When can you claim for Constructive Dismissal ?

This is answered above. 

DISCLAIMER

Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.
Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.