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Constructive Dismissal | Employment lawyers | Parslows Jersey

constructive dismissal - employment lawyers Parslows JerseyWill I fall foul of Constructive Dismissal if I change my employees contract of employment  

Our experience as employment lawyers indicates that employers commonly misunderstand what constructive dismissal actually is.

One example is where Employers  unilaterally change important terms of employment, such as employee compensation, duties and reporting structures.  This can have an impact on employee relations and the employer could end up in a tribunal.

What is Constructive Dismissal ?

Constructive dismissal is where an employer decides unilaterally to make substantial changes to the essential terms of an employee’s contract of employment and the employee does not agree to the changes and leaves his or her job.

Since the employer has not formally dismissed the employee, this has been referred to as “constructive dismissal”.  The employee can then treat the contract as being in breach and can issue proceedings against the employer for damages.  This can also have ramifications for the employer, such as losing the right to enforce restraint of trade clauses in the contract of employment.

How does a Court determine constructive dismissal?

To reach the conclusion that an employee has been constructively dismissed, the court must determine whether the changes imposed by the employer substantially altered the essential terms of the employee’s contract of employment.

The types of unilateral changes that amount to constructive dismissal vary from case to case. It will depend on the nature of the change and the employment relationship in question. Constructive dismissal may arise for example in the following situations, where a move is made unilaterally and without reasonable notice, namely:-

  • The employee’s salary is reduced;
  • The employee is demoted;
  • The employee compensation package is removed.

This list is by no means exhaustive of the types of significant unilateral changes that may lead to a constructive dismissal.

How does an employer minimise risk?

As long as the employment contract permits such and reasonable notice of any changes is given to the employees, an employer is entitled to manage its workplace and implement unilateral changes to the employment contract from time to time.

The requirement that an employer provides reasonable notice to an employee of its intention to implement significant changes to the terms of employment has its roots in the employer’s duty to provide reasonable notice of dismissal. The two requirements are very closely related.

Recommendations

  •         assess the potential impact of any proposed changes to the terms of employment on an individualised basis, as well as in relation to overall impact to the business;
  •         Provide reasonable advance notice to an employee of the significant change to the employment contract;
  •         Document communications with employees affected by changes to their employment;
  •         ensure that records are well kept as you go through the process.

For advice, assistance or further information please do not hesitate to call 630530 or email us on employmentlawyers@parslowsjersey.com


Parslows Jersey can help

Our employment lawyers support fairness and best practice in the workplace. We are experts in all aspects of Jersey employment law, including employment contracts and policies, redundancies, disciplinary, capability and grievance procedures, discrimination, compromise agreements and tribunal representation. Our lawyers have a proven track record in providing advice and representation on a wide range of employment law issues. Our employment lawyers have the experience and knowledge you need, whether advising on a contract or representing you in an employment tribunal. We’re committed to helping you get the best outcome possible. We act for both employers and employees.


Please note that the information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and is designed to provide you with an outline of the legal services we offer.  Whilst we endeavour to ensure our information is correct and useful, we make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information offered.  Information on our website does not constitute legal advice and Parslows Jersey accepts no liability for any loss or damage arising out of, or in connection with, the information found in this website.  Please consult a lawyer at Parslows Jersey in the event that you require professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of the same, is correct.
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