Constructive Dismissal

By Jacob Carswell-Doherty

What is a “constructive dismissal”?

Constructive Dismissal occurs when an employment contract is forfeited because the employer says or does something that the employee can reasonably treat as effectively comprising a dismissal.


Monica is the chairman of a major company. She tells the company’s CEO, Isabel, that the board has decided that she must cease work as a CEO and work instead as the Director of Sales & Marketing. Isabel could treat herself as being constructively dismissed and leave either immediately or after serving her notice period. Alternatively, she could perform her new role without objection, in which case she loses her right to claim constructive dismissal.

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