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Constructive dismissal - can I represent myself?


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You need a very good, specialist solicitor. it is very very rare a constructive dismissal claim is won by the claimant.

 

Can you give some background?

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

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Have you exhausted your employer's internal grievance procedure?

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Hi,

I have had several meetings, , and I've written complaints and raised issues, with manager and managers above managers.

This company has no HR no payrolls no legal section.

No one listens and no one resolves issues.

I have no other route to take

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The cost for solicitors is ridiculous, I only work part time so this is not an option for me.

I have however represented my self in court for a few years previous (other issues not relating) and am aware of the way things are done differently.

I have been with the company for almost 3 years after transferring from the council (previously employed for the same role for 15+ years)

I have been bullied, discriminated against, and been asked to compromise my role which breaks health and safety. And compromises myself and others I work with.

I have documents, statements and recorded meetings proving this.

I have statements of several other ex employees all within the last year who have resigned for similar reasons, or worse.

 

The company has no HR no Legal therefore you hit a brick wall when even the director of the company fails to acknowledge the concerns and issues..

From the day I gave my notice, I have had further disruption trying to do my job making life difficult whilst I work my notice, (this is even confirmed in an email by yet another manager! )

 

Any help I can get would be very much appreciated, I understand the hard work that will be involved.

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Like i said, youll need a very good sol for a constructive dismissal case, and thats if you qualify for CD. Going it alone is NOT recommended. But good luck.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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If I don't earn enough I simply can't afford a solicitor, and the big companies get away with it don't they.

I definitely qualify on almost half of the requirements and with statements and evidence I feel like I have nothing to loose.

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Well Rosienlily,

 

as has been pointed out already CD is difficult to prove (though not impossible). Going it alone decreases your chances of success against the respondent's legal team (no matter how good your claim). The capricious nature of the ET process is another factor you don't hear much about - but it exists. You could get a good panel/judge, you could get a hostile one too. Plays with the percentages. The (civil service) admin. 'support' function can be a nightmare to deal with. That reduces your chances as well. And then we have the delights of the tactics of the opposing legal team before you get to the hearing.

 

'Big companies get away with it don't they' - not all the time.

 

Sorry to be so negative - but people who win their claims often say that they wouldn't have gone through the process if they had known what it is like. Imagine how might you feel if you are convinced you have a just claim but get beaten by the odds on the day. It can be a dark place.

 

However that is not what you were asking. I would point you to the following website and suggest you obtain the book that is mentioned there. I wish I had had it when I first started my ET. http://etclaims.co.uk/

 

The book has just come out as a fourth edition (in the last week or two) - so it will be up to speed with the recent changes that came into being last year. It takes you through the processes and has helpful suggestions to make. It doesn't have all the answers (esp. around the antics of the respondent) but it will give you a sense of what you need to do. It is good to have to hand for some peace of mind and might help you sleep better at night if you head down the ET path.

 

The thirst for revenge/to right a perceived wrong etc; can also blind you to your real chances of success. And why not - you are the one that has been done over. You need a 'dispassionate' advisor to look at what you have got. Try to get some advice from your local CAB. Some legal centres can give you free professional advice as well. In London, for example, the Mary Ward centre is a fine place to seek free advice from trained professionals.

 

I wish you well, but please don't forget, letting it go, walking away and getting on with your life can be a wise and brave choice too.

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Hi, check your home insurance - most policies have legal cover and can provide a solicitor for you.

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My advice is based on my opinion and experience only. It is not to be taken as legal advice - if you are unsure you should seek professional help.

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Thank you for the reply you gave SWEETLOREAINE, I will look into getting the book.

I have a colleague who recently left this company via a tribunal with almost the same issues as me, the company in question wanted to avoid court at all costs as the evidence stacked against them is immense. It was also noted that the representative on

her behalf really didn't get all the facts until the day, and basically, had my friend not had her wits about her and know a thing or two about the law she would have still lost. She stood by what was factual, logged, recorded and documented, ( as will I), nothing was ever shown, and court was avoided.

I too in the past have had barristers and solicitors and ultimately I was better off representing myself in the past. I know there are some excellent solicitors out there and like you say I could get a good panel or a bad one, and that's with or without a solicitor.

I feel I have nothing to loose, and hopefully I can get a little guidance along the way, more for the starting process, I will of course try to get someone unbiased to look at the application too.

Had this been a company with a legal section this would have been avoided at all costs, sadly the company can do what and when they like to whom ever they like and answerable to no one. This is wrong.

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I feel I have nothing to loose,

 

Well - ET fees, and potential costs awarded against you.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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How is that possible? If it's work related?

 

insurance legal cover provides legal costs to pursue claims such as personal injury, employment disputes, contract disputes and property disputes - check your policy to see if you have that cover and then ring them to be put in touch with one of their soliocitors.

 

I'm with More Than insurance and covered for £50,000 legal assistance for employment issues, personal injury claims, consumer issues etc etc

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Please consider making a donation, however small, if you have benefited from advice on the forums

 

 

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My advice is based on my opinion and experience only. It is not to be taken as legal advice - if you are unsure you should seek professional help.

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If you are still in employment, and feel that you might be sacked, it is advisable to wait until you are sacked instead of resigning.

 

It is easier to win a standard unfair dismissal case than a constructive dismissal case. The basic legal rule is that a resignation is your free choice. Constructive dismissal rests on proving that the employer's breach of your employment contract was so serious that it should be treated as a dismissal, which is tough to prove.

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If your case is strong enough, you may be able to find a no win, no fee lawyer to conduct it on your behalf.

 

In answer to your question, though, yes - self representation is entirely possible. However, the law on constructive dismissal and discrimination is highly complex, so a solicitor would be far better placed to present the case for you.

 

As above, check your home contents insurance for legal cover. Chances are if they won't indemnify you due to prospects of success being low, it's probably not a case that's worth you pursuing alone.

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I have been bullied, discriminated against, and been asked to compromise my role which breaks health and safety. And compromises myself and others I work with.

I have documents, statements and recorded meetings proving this.

 

If you have been bullied and discriminated against then that is a much easier battle to fight in the ET, much more "winnable" than a constructive dismissal case. If you have proof of this, and are willing to go through the ET, then this is the route that I would pursue.

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If you have been bullied and discriminated against then that is a much easier battle to fight in the ET, much more "winnable" than a constructive dismissal case. If you have proof of this, and are willing to go through the ET, then this is the route that I would pursue.

Really? How would I make that application? I was under the understanding that it all comes under constructive dismissal?

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In exactly the same way, via an ET1 form to the tribunal. You can still say that the discrimination and bullying forced you into resignation (i.e. constructive dismissal) but I'd concentrate on the instances of discrimination as the key point of your complaint and make it clear that this is the basis of your claim. As an aside, discrimination compensation awards in the ET are on average higher than awards for unfair/constructive dismissal.

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In exactly the same way, via an ET1 form to the tribunal. You can still say that the discrimination and bullying forced you into resignation (i.e. constructive dismissal) but I'd concentrate on the instances of discrimination as the key point of your complaint and make it clear that this is the basis of your claim. As an aside, discrimination compensation awards in the ET are on average higher than awards for unfair/constructive dismissal.

Hi, that's exactly what I was aiming for, the descrimination

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In exactly the same way, via an ET1 form to the tribunal. You can still say that the discrimination and bullying forced you into resignation (i.e. constructive dismissal) but I'd concentrate on the instances of discrimination as the key point of your complaint and make it clear that this is the basis of your claim. As an aside, discrimination compensation awards in the ET are on average higher than awards for unfair/constructive dismissal.

 

Indeed! And it's worth bearing in mind that if a discrimination verdict is reached, a constructive dismissal will often usually follow...

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Hi, that's exactly what I was aiming for, the descrimination

 

The key is to not to use constructive dismissal as the primary reason for the ET claim, configure it so that your claim is focused primarily on the discrimination aspect with a secondary element that it led to constructive dismissal as a consequence. Do not say "I am claiming constructive dismissal because of discrimination", instead say "I am claiming discrimination which also led to constructive dismissal". There is a subtle but important difference between the two in the context of the ET.

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The key is to not to use constructive dismissal as the primary reason for the ET claim, configure it so that your claim is focused primarily on the discrimination aspect with a secondary element that it led to constructive dismissal as a consequence. Do not say "I am claiming constructive dismissal because of discrimination", instead say "I am claiming discrimination which also led to constructive dismissal". There is a subtle but important difference between the two in the context of the ET.

 

I don't really see any difference between the two , if I'm honest. Semantics don't matter - what matters is the substance of the claim.

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