constructive dismissal

Constructive Dismissal Comes to Ambridge

Kathy Perks to get her day in Tribunal

You mean you don’t know who Kathy Perks is?  What, you don’t listen to The Archers?  It’s been on the radio since 1768 and is part of the fabric of our society.  So much so that Billy Connolly once suggested its signature music should be used by the English as their national anthem rather than “God Save the Queen”, in the same way that the Scots have “Flower of Scotland” and the Welsh “Land of My Fathers”. You don’t know what you’re missing.

Or maybe you do.

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The Brodie Clark Resignation



The Head of the UK Border Force, Mr Brodie Clark, resigned on Tuesday, reportedly in reaction to comments by the Home Secretary that blamed him for a relaxation of biometric and anti-terrorism checks over the summer.  Mr Clark had been suspended a few days previously over the matter.

He disputes any wrongdoing and has stated that Ms May’s comments were misleading and had amounted to a campaign of public vilification against him, such that he would not receive a fair hearing. One Home Office source called him a “rogue civil servant”.    According to reports in the media Home Office lawyers are telling Ms May that he has a good case and is likely to win. In his resignation statement he said

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Constructive Dismissal: Good news for Employers?

Daniel Barnett’s regular news alert brought the case of Aberdeen City Council v McNeill to my attention. It provides a useful reminder about who must be in breach of the contract of employment before an employee can pursue a claim for constructive dismissal.

The facts were these:

Mr McNeill was a long standing employee of the Council. He became embroiled in disciplinary proceedings when his line manager was suspended pending investigation of alleged misconduct of a financial nature.  The Claimant believed he had heard his line manager and a female employee, on two occasions, engaging in sexual activity together.  It appears he was rather indiscreet in keeping this information to himself and was himself suspended for breaching confidentiality, as well as making defamatory remarks about a female colleague.  That same female colleague alleged harassment, sexual harassment and bullying against Mr McNeill.

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Yesterday Ian Barratt of Mind Strengths Ltd published his “Seven Top Stress Management Tips for Employees”.  Today I am publishing my “top tips” for employers hoping to avoid claims for stress at work from being commenced against them.   

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As promised last Monday, I am delighted today to welcome my first guest blogger, Ian Barratt (pictured, right) of Mind Strengths Ltd, to present his Seven Top Stress Management Tips on this third Monday of January, the allegedly most miserable day of the year. Ian is a qualified stress management consultant speaker and author.  His book “The Phoenix Strategy”, co-authored with Amanda Robinson was published last October.  Mind Strengths Ltd is a consultancy company offering workplace strress management , wellbeing and support services.  Tomorrow I will look at how employers can minimise the risk of being sued for stress at work by employees. 

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When did you terminate?

Or, to be more precise, and rather less brutal, when did your employment terminate?  In technical employment law parlance, what is the “Effective Date of Termination (EDT)”?  This is a crucially important date in cases where employer-employee have fallen out because it is from the EDT that time limits for issuing proceedings at an Employment Tribunal (ET) are calculated. 

An employee usually has three months in which to issue his/her proceedings – e.g. for unfair dismissal or for discrimination claims.  Problems can arise when the papers commencing the claim (called the ET1) are lodged close to the three (calendar) month less one day limit.  The ET is very strict about accepting claims outside the three month limit and will only do so if it was not “reasonably practical” for the proceedings to have been lodged within that time.

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Kevin Keegan




Kevin Keegan has won his case for constructive dismissal against former employers Newcastle United, being awarded £2mn by the Premier League’s Manager’s Arbitration Tribunal.  He left the club in September 2008 after falling out with them over the purchase of a player Ignacio Gonzalez (who?) against his wishes. 

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Constructive Dismissal – recent developments

This post isn’t about Freddie Flintoff bowling 5-92 to defeat the Aussies at Lords (a very constructive dismissal in my view) but, sadly, is about some recent cases on the law relating to constructive dismissal.  The recent case of Bournemouth University Higher Education Corporation v Buckland [2009] EAT whilst not being as newsworthy as this week’s actions at Lords is, nevertheless, important stuff on the difficult topic of constructive dismissal.  In my experience few topics cause as much confusion or are as overused as constructive dismissal.  Every second client thinks they have or are about to suffer it.

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