- No unfair constructive dismissal because of demotion for gross misconduct (News, 8 March 2016)
- Impact of this case
- Relevant law
- The facts and the employment tribunal decision
- The judgment of the EAT
If during an internal appeal an employer substitutes what would have been a fair decision to dismiss for gross misconduct with the alternative sanction of demotion, then that decision will not give rise to a successful claim for constructive unfair dismissal even if the employer has no contractual right to demote. This is because, even if it is assumed that there was a fundamental breach of contract and the resignation was in response, any constructive dismissal arising is: (1) for the potentially fair reason of the claimant’s original gross misconduct, and (2) fair in all the circumstances, where the original dismissal was fair, because demotion is a less serious sanction than dismissal. EAT: Wells v Countrywide Estate Agents T/A Hetheringtons.
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