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If I resign can I claim constructive dismissal?

If you resign because your employer's behaviour towards you amounts to a fundamental breach of contract, you could claim constructive dismissal. In the majority of cases, you will need two years of continuous service to bring your claim. There are exceptions. For example, no service is needed to bring a claim based on unlawful discrimination.  

The treatment you have received must be so serious that you can say it goes to the root of your employment contract. An example could be a failure by your employer to pay your wages.

If you ultimately feel you have no alternative but to resign because of your employer's conduct towards you, your resignation may constitute a constructive dismissal. In such circumstances, you can apply to an employment tribunal claiming unfair dismissal.

Strict time limits apply:

You have just three months from the date of your resignation to bring your claim.

In April 2014, the tribunal rules changed to introduce Acas Early Conciliation. Under these new rules, you will not be allowed to issue a tribunal claim unless you have first contacted Acas to consider whether your claim can be conciliated (i.e. settled) without a tribunal claim. You can find out more about the new Acas Early Conciliation scheme here.

You must contact Acas within the normal time period for a tribunal claim – i.e. in a claim for constructive dismissal, this is within three months of your resignation date.  

Do not leave the claim to the last minute, especially if you think you need to apply for fee remission from the employment tribunal. A tribunal claim will be rejected if it is not accompanied by the tribunal fee or a properly completed application for fee remission with original supporting documents. Even though the claim is rejected, no extra time will be allowed to get this right.