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BusinessCare case study: Reviving complaints and constructive dismissal


An employee isn't reaching their targets, so their line manager arranges a meeting to review their performance. During the meeting, the employee says their work is fine – it’s the performance management process that doesn’t work and this breaches their employment contract. The employee says they’ve had enough and they’re considering resigning. Following the meeting, the employee decides to stay and their work improves.

Sometime later there's a disagreement between them and their line manager, again around the employee’s targets. The employee decides to quit this time, complaining that the way they were treated breached their contract of employment.

Following the employee’s resignation, they also decide to claim unfair constructive dismissal.


What’s constructive dismissal?

Constructive dismissal is when an employee resigns in response to a serious breach of their employment contract.

Such a breach is said to 'repudiate' the contract, allowing them to bring it to an end but call it dismissal. That means that the employee can claim unfair dismissal and compensation at an employment tribunal.

Can it be said that they resigned in response to a breach of contract?

Yes: The courts recognise that after numerous minor wrongs, one minor wrong might prove too much to bear and justify resignation.


What this means for employers

This case serves as a reminder that employers should always act fairly. Even if an employee seems to have forgiven previous wrongdoing, it could return to haunt the employer.


How BusinessCare can help

Using BusinessCare, employers can create a custom employee handbook online, which includes a policy on grievance and disciplinary procedures.  The BusinessCare website also has a range of letters for different parts of the disciplinary process. This is just one example of how BusinessCare can help employers.


How can employers access BusinessCare?

BusinessCare is available to all employers with a Canada Life Group Income Protection or CLASS policy. It provides access to a 24/7 legal helpline as well the ability to create legal documents online quickly and easily. Employers can even send the documents they create for review by a qualified solicitor.


To access this service:

24/7 Legal Helpline

Just call 0330 053 5624 to access qualified solicitors.


Online Legal Document Creation

Simply visit using your Canada Life policy number to register.


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