Saturday, 17 March 2012

Employment Rights: Constructive Dismissal

Q: Can I be fired with immediate effect?


A: Part 4

When an employee is forced to quit because of intolerable behaviour by an employer, it is called Constructive Dismissal. In order to prove this, the employee must show that:

1. The employer committed a serious breach of contract
2. He/She felt forced to leave because of that breach
3. He/She did not do anything to suggest acceptance of the breach, or change in employment conditions


Examples of Constructive Dismissal:

1. Not supporting managers in difficult work situations.

2. Harassing or humiliating staff, particularly in front of other less senior staff.

3. Victimising or targeting particular members of staff.

4. Changing the employee's job content or terms without consultation.

5. Making a significant change in the employee's job location at short notice.

6. Falsely accusing an employee of misconduct; e.g. theft or being incompetent

7. Excessive demotion or disciplining of employees

8. Failing to provide a safe place of work

9. Cutting - or trying to cut - an employee's wages or salary or other contractual benefits without their agreement

69 comments:

  1. question: By what legal means can a former precepted officer, now contracted under different employment,regect the move to have him placed+ under the authority of a secretary? does such an Officer seek the advice of the Estate Police Association or are there particular ways to address this irregular situation to the the manager responsible(not the Official Director yet with responsibility for security and having unquestionable authorityover a security group.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can I be 'demoted' and my pay cut?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With valid reason, of course!

      Delete
    2. I have a similar problem can i speak to you?

      Delete
  3. i decided to leave my job today for all of the reasons listed above and my fellow employees are going through the same thing what can i do i dont want to leave but i cant endure what he dishes out on a daily bases any advice

    ReplyDelete
  4. 1. At at state enterprise where the board members are retreiving information from employees file such as contract of employment, certificates, appraisals, promotion letters etc. without consulting employees. IS IT RIGHT?
    2. persons who are on fixed term contract are being transfered to different departments, employees who have been employed with the company for over three years on a year to year renewable contract basis, and their positions are being advertised while their contract is running they have to reapply for their positions. HOW CAN THiS BE RIGHT?
    When a company tell yo they cant afford to provide basic ammenities such as a/c, toilet paper, a christmas handshake, but they are hiring anonymous persons temporarily without going through the proper recruitment process, HOW CAN THIS BE?

    please advise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Yes, I saw no problem in going through your information.

      2. That is illegal because technically, the employer is unfairly dismissing an employee for no reason and telling them to reapply. It can also result in a Constructive dismissal claim if it persists.

      Delete
    2. 1. Yes, I saw no problem in going through your information.

      2. That is illegal because technically, the employer is unfairly dismissing an employee for no reason and telling them to reapply. It can also result in a Constructive dismissal claim if it persists.

      Delete
  5. thanks,

    so for the employee who's positionos being advertised during the course of the contract, what can he do to protect himself or what steps can this employee take to claim constructive dismissal, go to labour board, go to a union......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't do anything if they advertise your position. You just have to wait to see what happens. The constructive dismissal claim will work only if the employer asks the employee to reapply every year.

      Unions are worthless and the labour board is far from efficient, but they are a good starting point. If you want legal representation, talk to me when you're ready.

      Delete
  6. I work at a state enterprise and have been operating in a managerial capacity for approximately 11 years in my current position. Recently I had the cause to respectfully defend myself against the most senior Exec in the organisation as I was blamed for a situation over which I had absolutely no control.

    Coming out of this, a vacancy of my position dressed up not to look like mine was advertised internally as well as externally. This is the second time the company has gone down this road with me, when I raised formally the first time that it occurred, they realised that they were mistake that could have serious implications to the company, so they backed off and I was told that an error was made by our HR. This time to ensure that they have covered their bases they have tweaked the job description so that it does not look like mine. However based on all the calls I have received (over 100) I have received, it appears that it wasn’t disguised well enough.

    At the moment I have to contend with some very embarrassing questions and calls internally as well as from external persons asking if I had resigned or if my services were terminated. This is even the trending topic in some departments and there is speculation amongst junior staff that my position is going to be made redundant etc.

    The situation has even deteriorated to the stage where the most senior exec in the org, communicates with me only through another senior exec or through junior managers in my department.

    A long time ago, I have realised that because I came up the ranks through the organisation, I am not given the same level of respect of persons hired externally. I continue to endure the same level of disrespect that I did as junior member of staff even though I am now a senior manager. I have been treated with utter contempt and disrespect by senior management over the years, which I have simply ignored and have still given my youth, blood, sweat and tears to my organisation and still continue to so, up until today. However, I have reached a stage where I believe that the time has come to make a stand as this issue is really starting the affect my health and emotional wellbeing. If I were to write all the challenges and issues that I have faced and continue to face daily, I can write an entire book.

    Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always say, the first step should always be a letter to Management/HR.

      Delete
  7. I have already written and had a meeting HR. HR is basically repeating exactly what is being said by the senior exec and has no intention of conducting an independent investigation to determine if my claims are credible. HR also reports to the same Exec which I have the issue with,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok. Well if you want to take this further, I'm more than happy to offer my services. Send me an e-mail.

      Delete
  8. I have another meeting with HR later this week, I'll be in touch depending on what arises out of this meeting.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi I work in a private medical laboratory. For the past two months my boss has been continuously harassing me in these ways:
    Embarrassing me in front other workers and patients.
    Accusing me of mistakes that I had to prove I didn't do.
    Constantly threatening to fire me in front other staff
    Asking me to do tasks that are a danger to my health then threatening to fire me when I refuse
    Accusing me of bad talking her with other workers and calling me narrow minded and sarcastic in front of other staff etc
    I am so uncomfortable in this job because she is constantly picking on me and other workers have noticed it too. Do I have any rights in a situation like this? I want to leave but have not found another job as yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely have rights and you have found the exact area of law that applies to this situation.

      I can deal with this situation for you. We can start with letters and see what response we get.

      Send me a private e-mail.

      Delete
  10. I want to send you a private email! Please tell me how

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good day,
    Is it lawful for an employer force you into utilising all your vacation leave with emmediate effect?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only if (1)you were given the opportunity before and you refused and (2) it is necessary for the business to continue running efficiently.

      Delete
  12. i have worked for a private company for three years....i have heard people telling me that my employer wants to get rid of me but i paid it no attention because to my knoweldge i have done my job to the best of my ability, recently however i came to work and he had locked me out of the office and told me i have to work under some stairs...he refused to pay me also and up to this date i am still being victimized i went to ministry of labour and they sent me to a union, the union told me i could resign, but will i loose all my sevrence and after i have worked so hard in this company was it all in vain? up to date i have not gotten a reason as to why i have been moved or not paid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our first step is a letter. We need to get that information from the employer.

      Yes, the Ministry and unions are usually useless.

      Delete
  13. i told my boss some things the manager is doing in confident, she promised to deal with it in a meeting but during the meeting when i brought up the issues the manager answer as though he was prompt before, how can i ever trust the boss she was bias.
    the manager is very hypercritical and the boss made her defend her every action with out fairness to the other workers.
    what advice can i get

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Be more careful when discussing work issues. Your Manager's loyalty would lie with the employer...

      Delete
  14. Hi ! i am an employee under serious victimization from my employer a state enterprise, i would like to send you a private mail please. can i have your email contact.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi good evening.... I was immediately fired from my job on the 16th of September; but my dismissal was not clear although there was a meeting which was not even with the boss but with his brother and fiancé who are not on the payroll. There was no letter clearly stating why I was fired.
    How I came to this point is like this... in may my boss fiancé sent me a text message stating she wishes to meet with me because my boss thinks we both can work together. I asked if the boss would be in the meeting because I was a bit surprised because I did not know she was now hired in the company. the meeting never materialized and then I began noticing that she stated interacting with the clients and sending and receiving correspondences via email and by hand, both her and the boss carrying out the days work affairs without letting me know anything.
    Office files started leaving the office and other documents and all this time the boss did not even come to state what exactly is going on. It came to the point where there was hardly anything for me to do. I had to force them into having a meeting for them to state what is happening because it is a small company with a very small staff which was not convincing which with this second meeting lead to me being fired.... what shall I do...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What was the purported reason for your dismissal?

      Delete
  16. I recently was approved in a new pisition i applied for, on 3mths probation, though i have been with the company for 19+yrs. Is it legal for a drop in salary, though it is considered a promotion? Confused

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course it's not legal.

      https://www.facebook.com/ttworkersassociation/info?tab=page_info

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your previous help. I have left the job and found another. My question today is...in an email sent out in January this year they said anyone who leaves in good standing will be paid accordingly. While working at my previous job a clause within the contract said I could revert to my previous position if I chose to. I did that after they were 'requiring' me to do both my new promotion and another's as they were going on leave for four months. I took offense as this was not mentioned at my interview or within the first two weeks but only after I realized their intent. I asked if this was the case by the 3rd week and was told no. On the 4th week I was then approached. I told them had this been mentioned at the interview I would have made an informed choice rather than it being forced on me. I declined and reverted to my old position. I gave a months notice as required and left. It has been 2 months now and no compensation mentioned. My previous supervisor made inquiries and was told that they are working on it. Do I have legal recourse if after 6 months nothing is done? How long can I wait?

      Delete
    3. Send them an e-mail asking again and in it give them 1 week to respond. If nothing, get back to me.

      Delete
  17. My 6 month probation ends mid September,2015. I worked for about 2 months in the position that was advertised (Accounts) and then I accepted a lateral movement to a newly created department(Sales&Marketing). I accepted under the agreement that my field is in fact Marketing and specified that Sales is not. However, the employer this time wants to eliminate Marketing and have me perform Sales duties to which I absolutely refused.

    I resigned on August 17th because I was asked to make a decision by that date. My question is, my last working day was August 14th, should I expect payment for work done up until that time? I have also not been to work since that day and I gave 2 weeks notice.

    I hope you can advise soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must be paid up until the 14th.

      Delete
    2. I am a employee i left my work about one month ago i work there for five years nw an I am workin again an my old work has not give me my money what they have for me it make 3month an I have not got nothing what can I do

      Delete
  18. Good Night I need your advise ASAP

    I am in a situation where the points mentioned above fit like a glove and I spoke to the Head of HR, where she requested a letter about all these issue however, I wish to remain unknown for the fear of a serious back lash.......... need pointers in how to write this letter which would be reviewed by the deputy PS

    Hope to hear from u SOON!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Email our trade union at ttworkersassociation.at.gmail.com

      Delete
  19. Hi ......Good afternoon.
    I work in a company under the private sector. I have been seeing some problems with my employer within the last
    3-4 months. I need some advice. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Email our trade union at ttworkersassociation.at.gmail.com

      Delete
  20. My Manager has reviewed my performance with me, stating that I have had severe managerial problems spcifically with relations toward line staff. She stated that she will be considering restructuring the position, especially because she wants to hire staff in the department. I am the Manager and I think she wants to demote me to Marketing Executive over Marketing Manager. Is this Legal? both her and the MD has pointed out my issues, along with stating that they have had to move staff from under me because I am difficult to work with....
    Do they have grounds to do this?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Not seeing my previous message...
    Is it fair for my Boss to demote me (change my position) from a managerial position to Marketing Rep just because she (and the MD) is stating that I have severe problems dealing with lower level staff? they went through a performance appraisal with me and told me that they are thinking of restructuring due to the fact that they are hiring lower level staff....
    Legal????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once done properly, a demotion is legal.

      Delete
  22. I have read the above on Constructive dismissal. How can I prove my employers misconduct? My coworkers won't testify. They are all afraid of loosING their jobs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously you can't rely on co-workers. They will never testify. You have to document your own abuse - gather your own proof.

      Delete
  23. I have contacted them, but the Operations Manager who is also part owner of the company has said that it will be addressed. The person leaves the country frequently. I contacted the Operations Assistant who says that she did contact the Operations Manager and they are looking into it.

    I was also advised to join a union.

    ReplyDelete
  24. If vacation days are accrued monthly, can I accrue a vacation day for the month that I have given notice of resignation?

    ReplyDelete
  25. i'm currently employed in the private sector as an credit assistant. i've been permanently employed for over 2 years.
    I have been unfairly treated in my department by my finance director since no opportunity is being given to me for growth, development and training.
    as well they are demoting me since most of my current functions are being taken away from me and i will only be doing a very small portion of my current job specs.
    The FD is willing to give another employee the opportunity i would like to have and she's not willing to hear my proposals.
    i am considering leaving the organization as this situation has taken a drastic effect on me as an individual as well as the unfair conditions i am being faced with

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Put your grievance in writing... highlight everything you stated. If nothing is done, get back to us.

      Delete
  26. Hi today i was advised by my superior that i'm being transferred at the Company's request. I asked if the decision is final and my superior confirmed. I asked when was the transfer going to be implemented? My superior advised Monday.
    When asked if my job title remains the same they said yes. I then expressed my concern as my current job description is different from the "transferred position" job description.
    The Company's policy clearly states that employees to be transferred will be provided with one month notice. which was not done.
    What claim do i have? And what are the necessary steps to take to have this rectified?
    i am of the belief that i'm being discriminated against.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Good Day...I'm not seeing the option to email you.
    Can this still be done or post here?
    thanks in advance for your reply

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it's work-related, contact our union
      https://www.facebook.com/ttworkersassociation/

      Delete
  28. Good day. Can an employer cut your salary if it has nothing to do with your job performance? For example if the company is attempting to save financially.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should be discussed, agreed upon and done equally throughout the entire organisation.

      Delete
  29. I have been working in retail operations for almost 5 years with a private employer. Almost 2 years ago they hired a new director to the team an since then my life has been a living hell. In the last 2 years my job portfolio has changed at least 4 times could be more. When i started there were 5 locations we are now 11 location s i opened every single location. They promoted my junior to my level and then with out consultation spilt my commissions with this person. Previously my commission and agreed upon amount based targets they just stopped paying and just kept saying it needs to be calculated. They acknowledge the debt just not making an effort to pay. Recently they changed my portfolio again restricted me to half the stores. Then asked me to begin logining this was never something i was asked to do. And 5 years ago when i took the job my main concern was flexibility which i was assured i would have. I advised them in order for me to agree i need them to review my salary as i felt i have done so much and i see this as demotivating. The response was think about it and seperate my salary issue i replied i can not do that and they need to think about my request.
    The meeting ended. Now on the system to login i was never created as a user to login since that until today it was never adjusted. I was not asked after the meeting about logining in. After the meeting i was called by a director for times for the staff prior to spilt in stores i never had to do this . I advised that director i only used tge app when it was first introduced to look at punctuality i dont even know my password. At this point he said no issue i will send you the report. I called the other director and said this reporting directly affects salaries that i was not comfortable doing such as 1 i was not hired nor trained to do so. 2 there was a person that was employed to do such and she highlighted that persons were being paid under minimum wage at which point she was fired fir punctuality. He responded saying if i did not do times my staff will suffer as salaries will be late which it was always for the last year and a half. I did as requested after he being sent the report by the director. Monthend salaries came again he again sent the report. I did times again i still not certain if i am doing it the correct way as no one took the time to address my concerns and the staff that work shifts have issues with their salaries i not even sure if it is my error. Today i went into a meeting and was given a waring letter for failure to log in and gross insubordination. Sigh i am very argumentative i do not curse but i admit i can be argumentative. But we both walked out that meeting saying think about it i was never asked a question. I was never set up to log in. They are saying it is my fault and give me a warning letter threatening dismissal. Saying i should have told them i was not set up to do that. But you ask me to change my terms is it not your due diligence to set me up to do so? This is my first warning in 5 years. I asked for the money they owed me they said i will get my figure by tom. And payment sometime this week or early next week . I really want to leave.. i felt like i was a big part if buolding the company and now they are trying to force me out i feel heart broken but just ready to move on what do i do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Contact our union:
      https://www.facebook.com/ttworkersassociation/

      Delete
  30. Good Day, I work for a private company and I have been summoned to a disciplinary hearing for being accused of being in collusion to steal a gift that was given to me from a supplier. Now we have no policy that when given gifts it belongs to the Company, so my coworker asked me for it and I told her she can have it. Now I was given this gift about 7 mths ago. Can I take a union rep to this hearing or can you guide me on what is the procedure? They only have a recording with the coworker placing the item in her pocket but it is still on the Company's compound. What should I do. The hearing is in two (2) days. Thanks much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Call our union:
      https://www.facebook.com/ttworkersassociation/

      Delete
  31. good day my salary has been cut by nearly 60%. I want to know if its legal? The excuse was first, the economy, then they said its a change in policy. But this change only affects my co worker and myself. I will also like to know what is my legal rights here if any.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow... that's crazy! Contact our union: Trinidad and Tobago Workers' Association.

      Delete
  32. Hi, i have not been paid salaries for last six months, every month i ask for salaries from my employers he is telling me to hold on he is waiting for funds to come in.. and is paying me 2500 a month when my salary is 9000.00... i cant go on any more and i need to get all my money... can you assist me here

    ReplyDelete
  33. I have not been paid salaries for the last six months... every month i would my employer for salaries and he would say to me.. hold on we are waiting for funds to come in and pay me 2500, when my monthly salary is 9000. What can u do to assist me...

    ReplyDelete
  34. I have worked for a company for 10 years, I got through with another job so I resigned with immediate effect, do I loose my vacation benefits from the company I resigned from?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi if i am fine for littering in public i.e. i throw a snowcone cup in the road, can my company fire me for that the main reason because I am fine?

    ReplyDelete

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