How can I tell if I’ve been constructively dismissed?

Many people use the phrase ‘constructive dismissal’ without knowing what it really means. A constructive dismissal is where your employer has decided on their own to make a significant and substantial change to the terms of your employment contract without you agreeing to the change. In other words, they have decided to stop playing by the agreed-upon rules, and so you’ve effectively been let go without being told those exact words.

This means that if you are formally terminated and offered an exit package, that is not a constructive dismissal. Also, not every change that an employer makes to your work meets the threshold of a constructive dismissal. If your hours or pay are slightly reduced, this may not meet the legal test for constructive dismissal. If you agree to the change, this also will rule out a constructive dismissal. Remember this needs to be a significant change, and one that you do not agree with, at which point we can advise as to your next steps. Learn more about constructive dismissal here.