Successful constructive dismissal case

A former employee has won his constructive dismissal case against a cereal employer after he resigned twice over his boss’ management style. The employment tribunal found that the former employee had been forced to leave his job due to aggressive management and an unfair grievance investigation and appeal process by the HR team. This combination of factors was found to have breached the implied terms of trust and confidence in the employee’s employment contract.

The employee had worked at the company happily for 25 years before originally tendering his resignation  because of his new manager’s “bullying and harassing” style of management.  However, the employee was persuaded to stay on at the company after his manager promised to change his behaviour.  Over the next two years, however, the manager continued to swear at employees, admitting later to the tribunal that he would intentionally humiliate employees in an attempt to drive performance.

The Employment Judge stated that the investigation into the grievance lacked balance and the outcome letter did not align to the evidence that the investigator had gathered.   The company’s approach to the employee’s appeal was also poor, the tribunal found.  No record was taken during appeal meetings, which were only summarised later in emails. These emails were found to be inaccurate.

The line manager was not interviewed in the appeal process, and little reference was made at any stage in the grievance process to the company’s own Dignity at Work policy. Throughout the tribunal, it was found that the key witness was confused, inconsistent and not credible in the evidence they gave.

121 HR Solutions can provide unlimited telephone support to managers on managing such difficult situations through our HR Business Partnership service. For further information contact 0800 9995 121

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