Constructive Dismissal

As per recent WRC decision (Ref ADJ- 00000091) a successful constructive claim requires the claimant to prove that it was reasonable in light of their employer’s unreasonable behaviour to breach their contract of employment and constructively dismiss themselves.

The claimant was a cleaner and outlined that his employer had been unreasonable on a number of fronts namely by requiring him to lift bags of glass bottles which he eventually refused to do; by refusing a request for annual leave for the Christmas 2015 period and by implementing their dress code with him unfairly regarding the wearing of make up. The claimant did not use the Company’s grievance procedure at any point prior to leaving his employment.

The employer demonstrated that it had a carried out a risk assessment in respect of lifting the heavy bags and had made available protective equipment. They also explained that a colleague of the claimant had already booked the required period of leave off and they had not approved it for the claimant as opposed to cancelling it as he claimed. The employer said when discussing this with the claimant he had walked out of the meeting with two hours of his shift remaining.

The adjudicator found clearly that the employer’s conduct was not unreasonable in terms of how they had dealt with the claimant and also that the claimant had not attempted in any manner to raise his concerns with his employer before leaving his employment. The claim failed and was dismissed.

A successful constructive dismissal claim requires that an employee can demonstrate that they were left with no choice but to terminate their employment due to unreasonable conduct on behalf of their employer and most importantly that they raised their complaints and issues prior to leaving and attempted to resolve them. The case above did not meet that required standard or even come close.