As mentioned above, the employment contract must have been breached. So if your contract allows the employer to reduce your salary or hours, or to re-locate your role, then you don’t have a case for constructive dismissal.
Constructive dismissal claims can also be brought regarding changes your employer intends to make in the future. For example, if you are told that your role will be re-located in the near future, and the change meets the criteria for constructive dismissal, you can make a claim for what is known as an ‘anticipatory breach’.
In order to claim constructive dismissal, you must resign, whether this is with or without notice. You must have been with the employer in question for at least two years. You can’t claim constructive dismissal whilst remaining in your job. This inevitably means that making such a claim is a high-risk process, as if you lose your case you could find yourself out of work, without any financial compensation.
Claiming constructive dismissal also requires formal proceedings of some sort. If you make a claim via an employment tribunal, this must occur within three months, less one day, of the date the employment contract was terminated. Damages for claims made via tribunals are restricted to £25,000. Claims can also be made via the county court anytime up until six years of the termination of the contract, and here larger damages awards can be made.
Anyone considering making a constructive dismissal campaign is recommended to seek expert advice, if not from a solicitor then from an advice service such as Citizens Advice.