Information From A Constructive Dismissal Solicitor In Cork

Information From A Constructive Dismissal Solicitor In Cork

Welcome to Johnson & Co, Solicitors, Cork We offer a friendly, professional and experienced Constructive Dismissal service, whether you wish to initiate such legal proceedings or have been served with such proceedings.

Under Irish Employment Law, Constructive Dismissal occurs when employees resign because their employer’s behaviour has become so intolerable or heinous or made life so difficult that the employee has no choice but to resign. Since the resignation was not truly voluntary, it is in effect a termination. For example, when an employer makes life extremely difficult for an employee in an effort to have the employee resign rather than outright firing the employee, the employer may achieve a constructive dismissal. In this case an employee’s legal rights are the same is if she or he had been unfairly dismissed.

This page has some useful information about Constructive Dismissal . You may also be interested in our pages about Unfair Dismissal, Bullying and Harassment, and Employment Law.

While we have tried to provide some basic information, no website can answer all your questions. Do you live in Cork? If so please call now to book a telephone or face-to-face conversation with an experienced Cork solicitor.

About Constructive Dismissal

The conditions which give rise to Constructive Dismissal may include.

  • deliberate cuts in pay or status (even temporary),
  • persistent delayed wages,
  • refusal of holiday,
  • withdrawal of car,
  • suspension without pay (or even on full pay),
  • dramatic changes to duties, hours or location (beyond reasonable daily travelling distance),
  • ignoring complaints,
  • persistent unwanted amorous advances,
  • harassment and bullying at work,
  • verbal abuse (typically referring to gender, size or incompetence),
  • singling out for no pay rise,
  • criticising in front of subordinates,
  • lack of support (e.g. being forced to do two peoples’ jobs),
  • failure to notify a woman on maternity leave of a vacancy,
  • revealing secret complaints in a reference.

If any of the above have led you to resign from your job, your legal rights may have been severely infringed. Please call me immediately on 021 4847771 to discuss your options.

What is the difference between Constructive Dismissal and Unfair Dismissal?

Under Irish Employment Law, both Unfair Dismissal and Constructive Dismissal are serious breaches of an Employee’s Rights, and both can (and often do) occur where there are cuts in pay or status, delayed wages, refusal of holidays, bullying in the workplace, or other occasions where the victim has been singled out .

However Unfair Dismissal refers to a situation where the employer dismisses the employee and the employee believes the dismissal to be unfair or illegal. Constructive Dismissal refers to refers to a situation where the employee believes that because of the conduct of the employer towards him or her that she has no alternative but to resign from the employment. The employee may then bring a claim to the Employment Appeals Tribunal claiming Unfair Dismissal by way of Constructive Dismissal. Another important difference between Unfair Dismissal and Constructive Dismissal is that in an Unfair Dismissal case the employer must prove to the Employment Appeals Tribunal that the dismissal was fair. In a Constructive Dismissal case it is the employee who must prove that they were constructively dismissed.

How do I make a claim for Constructive Dismissal?

Under Irish Employment Law, claims for Constructive Dismissal, like claims for Unfair Dismissal, must be made to the Employment Appeals Tribunal within six months of the date of dismissal. A complaint form must be submitted within the six month time limit. You will only be allowed to make a claim within twelve months in exceptional circumstances. At Johnson & Co, Solicitors, Cork our lawyers can help you make that complaint and represent you at the hearing of the complaint.

Example of a successful claim for Constructive Dismissal


The employee commenced employment with the employer as an Operations Manager for the Republic of Ireland in December 1997. She was officially promoted to the role of Head of Operations in December 2006. In December 2007 the claimant was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to take sick leave from her position in order to undergo treatment for her illness. During this time, the employee alleged that she was put under a lot pressure to make decisions about her job and her future with the company.

This alleged pressure was primarily applied by the CEO of the company and came in the form of repeated requests to attend meetings with her superiors and to commit to a return to work date. In addition, the employee was informed that her full salary would cease to be paid to her after the month of April. This caused the employee to suffer from significant worry and anxiety which she felts affected her recovery. The employee emailed the owners of the company setting out her concerns and was informed that all work related concerns must go through the CEO of the company. The employee was declared fit to return in October and attended a pre-work meeting at which she was informed that a number of changes had taken place during her absence which would affect her role with the company. She was given a week to consider the matter and was informed that her return to work was contingent on her acceptance of the employer’s terms and conditions. Communications between both sides became strained in reaching agreement on her return to work culminating in the employee’s constructive dismissal from the company.


The tribunal found that the employee had an entitlement to return to work as soon as she was deemed medically fit to do so. The tribunal determined that from the date the employee’s return to work was made contingent on matters other than her being medically fit to return to work, the employee was entitled to consider herself constructively dismissed. The tribunal found that the fact that the employee did not immediately resign at that point, but resigned later when she realized that matters were not going to be resolved, was irrelevant. The tribunal awarded the employee the sum of €90,000.00.

Constructive Dismissal – We can help you

Please see our other pages on Unfair Dismissal, Bullying and Harassment, and Employment Law. For a 30-minute telephone or face-to-face meeting, please contact Daniel Johnson on 021 484 77 71.

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