What should you do if you feel forced to resign?
Over the past couple of decades employment law has increasingly bestowed more rights on employees to help protect them from losing their job. If you feel under pressure to resign you should contact a solicitor for legal advice immediately. A solicitor will often agree to advise you on a fixed-fee basis and should be able to inform you of your full rights and how to apply them to your specific case.
If an employer wishes to dismiss an employee they must follow a strict statutory procedure. There are, of course, cases where an employer will be justified in terminating the employment contract of an employee. However, even in these cases there are procedures to follow which will usually end up with a redundancy package being offered.
If you are being dismissed, a company will often offer you a compromise agreement whereby they will pay you a certain amount of money in return for which you forego the opportunity to bring any claims against them.
If you are offered a compromise agreement you should contact a solicitor immediately, and in most cases the employer will pay your legal fees for reviewing the compromise agreement with your solicitor.
The number of claims brought by claimants in employment tribunals has sharply increased in recent years. So has the amount of compensation awarded by employment tribunals to successful claimants. This emphasises the importance of ensuring employers get expert legal advice and guidance before deciding to dismiss employees.
If employers receive prudent legal advice on employment law, constructive dismissal, unfair dismissal and other claims by employees may be avoided. If they cannot be avoided then they can at least be minimised.
There are still many firms that will not abide by these principles and try to force employees to resign. This is not to be tolerated and good legal advice will ensure you are able to take your employer to task over their actions.
In cases which employees feel under pressure to resign they will usually bring a claim for constructive dismissal, meaning that essentially they were dismissed because they had no option but to resign.
For this to be successful an employee should not simply resign but instead follow the company’s procedures for bringing a grievance complaint.
This information should be found in the company handbook and, whilst at the time may not seem to have any chance of success, it may well be vital at any subsequent employment tribunal. This is because from an employee’s point of view constructive dismissal claims can be avoided if the correct procedure is followed.
If an employee raises a statutory grievance, the employer must endeavour to ensure they resolve the employee’s problem. If they do, the employee is unlikely to resign and subsequently claim constructive dismissal and possibly unfair dismissal.
If they do resign and the company has put a grievance procedure in place which the employee should have known about and did not follow, then their chances of success at an employment tribunal are greatly reduced.
This highlights the importance for employers to have thorough and fair grievance procedures.
If you feel under pressure to resign at work you should book an appointment with a solicitor who should be able to give you quick and accurate advice on how to proceed.