Thinking of Quitting your Job? Read this First
In my role I am one of the first points of contact a potential client will speak to regarding an employment enquiry. As you can understand, I listen to and advise on a multitude of different scenarios and I find myself hearing a recurring mistake which has compelled me to write this article.
The advice I feel the need to express is simply:
Raise a grievance before quitting your job
There are so many reasons why this is a good idea!
A claim for constructive dismissal is typically a more difficult claim to bring successfully than an ordinary unfair dismissal claim. I am continuously being presented with situations where an employee has decided to hand in their notice and then submit a grievance. This is not the correct way to go about it at all.
Most employers will have a grievance policy and in the absence of which ACAS provides some helpful procedural guidelines. It is important to follow the correct procedure and submit a grievance before you leave because if you wish to pursue a claim through the Tribunal and procedures have not been followed, the Tribunal will decide whether it is the fault of the employer or you. If you are found to be the one at fault, you could be subject to a deduction of up to 25% of your awarded damages.
But if you have already resigned, then your employer does not have to answer your grievance. The employer’s grievance procedure and the ACAS code applies, understandably, to employees only, which you would no longer be if you have terminated your employment.
If you are suffering at work as a result of being overworked, experiencing harassment or bullying by colleagues or for any work related reason, it is important that you let your employer know in writing. We have had to reject so many potential claims because they “had a word” with their manager about a situation which they have no proof of. Legally speaking, if there is no proof then did it really happen?
If an employer is not aware of a situation which is causing their employee to be vulnerable, then it would be very difficult to prove they have been negligent because they have not been given the chance to rectify the situation. Unfortunately, the notion that “my employer should have known I was suffering” will simply not be good enough for the Court or Tribunal (depending on the claim you bring).