If you resigned from your job because you felt there was no other recourse, and particularly if you felt your employer had breached your contract, you could qualify for constructive dismissal. However, not all dismissal cases are in the employees favour. There are certainly times where the employer is breaching contract however, it’s arguably more common that employees are not fulfilling their job duties thus are subject to fair reasons for dismissal. Employers on the other hand must provide fair reasons for dismissal in order to have the law on their side as they have their rights as much as any employee.
Typically, if an employer lets an employee go, it is because they (the employee) have broken one or more terms of their employment contract. Common reasons an employer may fire an employee is if they continually miss work. When an employee fails to arrive at work, the company can lose a lot of money and it is in their best interest to let deliquent or tardy employees be dismissed. Other fair reasons for dismissal include employees with poor discipline, are dishonest, are caught stealing from company property, or abuse drugs and alcohol.
If your job calls for learning new skills, such as computerised systems, and you are unwilling to adapt these new skills, your employer may have fair reasons for dismissal. However, you are entitled to fair training within your job description. It’s important to make efforts to adhere to your job duties. Or, if you are unable to get along with colleagues and the resulting tensions are causing disruption in the workplace due to your attitude, this too can be reason enough for dismissal. As with any job, it is your responsibility to get along with co-workers, and perform your job to the best of your ability.
Employees that miss work due to sickness shouldn’t automatically be dismissed however, fair reasons for dismissal may come into play if you are sick too often. Your employer should investigate to find out if perhaps working conditions are making an employee too ill to work. But, if this is not the case and there is reason to believe sick leave happens more often than deemed reasonable, then an employee can be fairly dismissed.
Before an employer dismisses an employee, they should follow a fair disciplinary policy. If you feel you are doing all that is necessary to perform your duties, then you should meet up with your employer in order try and rectify the situation. If your employer has done all they can and proven you are not performing your responsibilities, then you can be fairly dismissed. On the other hand, if you are doing your duties and your employer is the one breaching contract that leads to your resignation, you may qualify for constructive dismissal.