We often see cases where an employee has taken some action prior to getting advice on their rights and options and this rash action has got them in to serious problems.

This is especially true when employees resign without advice on whether that is the correct thing to do. They often believe that they will be able to claim a constructive dismissal because of the behaviour of their employer. However, in many cases it turns out that they cannot prove a constructive dismissal, so are left with no job and no remedy against the employer.

In a recent example of this the Employment Relations Authority rejected a claim of constructive dismissal, finding that the employer had acted as a fair and reasonable employer would have in the situation.

The employee submitted her letter of resignation after she was given a duty that she believed was given to her as punishment, because she had refused to come in on one of her days off. The duty was one that regularly would have been completed by at least two employees, but the employee was instructed to do it alone.

The ERA found that it was reasonable for the duty to be given to the employee, as the amount of work that was required to complete the task was not in excess of what was required of the employee. It was also found that the employee had actually not completed the task herself, as she had received help from her colleagues, which made the workload even more manageable.

These factors led the ERA to conclude that the claim of unjustified dismissal was not proven, because the employer had acted in a way that was fair and reasonable. As a result of this, the resignation could not be regarded as a constructive dismissal.

If the employee had better understood the requirements for a successful claim of constructive dismissal, she could have looked at a different approach than putting in her resignation.

If there is confusion around employee rights and options, it is wise to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area. We offer a fixed fee initial consultation service that is designed to provide employees with advice on their rights and options for moving forward, so employees can make the next move confident they know where they stand.

If you would like to discuss any matter please let us know.