Constructive Dismissal Example

Set out below is a constructive dismissal example along with guidance on what to do in this situation. If you have experienced a difficult situation at work (and you have been an employee continuously for at least 2-years) which has made you feel as though you have no option but to resign, you may be able to make a claim for constructive dismissal. We set out below some constructive dismissal examples. This is a type of unfair dismissal where an employee leaves their employment because they feel forced to do so. However, if you have not resigned yet (please don’t). Instead, you need to take advice and do so quickly, our article Constructive Dismissal UK Compensation covers this point in more detail.

Constructive Dismissal Example

The situation could be as a result of the way in which your employer has treated you or because of something your colleagues are doing.

What Is Constructive dismissal?

Constructive dismissal usually arises because an employer has breached the terms of the employment contract. The breach must be serious, often referred to as a fundamental or repudiatory breach of contract.

Examples include:

  • You do not receive the pay you are entitled to.
  • You are required to carry out work that you are not contracted to do.
  • Unreasonable changes are made to your working hours or place of work.

Other ways in which you could be unlawfully forced to leave include where:

  • You have raised a grievance which has not been adequately dealt with (or has been dealt with very slowly, usually in excess of at least 3 months without good reason).
  • You are facing bullying or harassment.
  • You are being disciplined without good reason.
  • You have been humiliated or demeaned in front of colleagues.
  • Your employer has breached health and safety rules.
  • You are being overworked or are unreasonably stressed and your employer has failed to deal with this.
  • You have been discriminated against or treated unfairly because you certain allegations you made.

The incident could be a single major event or a repeated series of actions that result in a ‘last straw’. On occasion, it may be possible to claim constructive dismissal on the basis of an anticipated breach of contract, for example, if you become aware that your employer intends to reduce your pay or move you to a different location. As mentioned, a constructive dismissal claim is only available to those who have been continuously employed for at least 2-years.

Constructive dismissal example

In the 2023 case of Barclay v Asda Stores Ltd, a bakery assistant successfully claimed constructive dismissal after raising a grievance against her line manager. Mrs Barclay had worked at Asda for 24 years with no problems until she started working for a new line manager, whom she claimed spoke down to her and treated her differently to everyone else.

She raised the issue with the line manager and that individual’s superior on numerous occasions over more than a year. Although some mediation was arranged, it was not successful and she felt unsupported by management. She was moved to a different department and difficulties continued. She was not allowed to return to the department where she had worked for 24 years, even though her complaint against her line manager had been upheld. Feeling she had no other option, she resigned.

Her claim for constructive dismissal was successful and she was awarded damages.

What to do if you feel forced to resign

We cover this in detail in our article Constructive Dismissal Solicitor, but the initial key point is to actually not resign, but to take advice, and do so quickly. The main reason being, if you resign, you will be unemployed without an income. However, if you take advice, and establish that there has been a fundamental breach of contract, you may be in a good position to negotiate an exit (if done properly). This means, you will be able to leave on your terms, for example, with a good reference in tact (helping you get a new job) and financial compensation, giving you financial security whilst you look for a new position.

However, you need to be careful if your employer has breached the terms of your employment contract however, as continuing to work could constitute your acceptance of the breach (this is why we suggest you take advice and do so quickly).

If you speak to us, we will advise you of your rights, give you another constructive dismissal example and, where necessary, intervene on your behalf to prevent the actions from continuing or help you negotiate an exit, so you can leave on more favourable terms (and with financial compensation).

If you have already been forced to leave, we can represent you in making a claim for constructive dismissal.

Contact our employment lawyers for constructive dismissal

If you are experiencing difficulties at work, call us today and we will give you the advice, support and representation you need.

To speak to one of our expert constructive dismissal lawyers, call our team today on 0207 118 9218 or complete a Free Online Enquiry and we will contact you.


This blog is for information purposes only. Nothing should be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice and nothing written should be construed as legal advice or perceived as creating a lawyer-client relationship.

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