Constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal (or forced resignation) refers to a situation where an employer, instead of actually dismissing an employee, forces the individual to resign by either requesting a resignation or putting the employee in circumstances where he/she feels there is no option but to resign. These resignations under pressure are, in effect, are tantamount to dismissal.

Some employers adopt this technique in the mistaken belief that it will avoid any employee grievance action.

As with any termination, an offer by the employee to resign in circumstances where a dismissal appears likely, should be handled with the same amount of care as if a dismissal was being contemplated.

Particularly where an employee offers to resign “in the heat of the moment”. Take care to give the employee enough breathing space to go away and reconsider their intentions before confirming their decision.

Wherever possible, obtain a written confirmation of an employee’s intention to resign. Do not arrange for a resignation letter to be typed on the employee’s behalf. Ask the employee to draft and supply the written resignation.