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Constructive dismissal during maternity leave?

Constructive dismissal

In the workplace, constructive dismissal can occur when a toxic work environment is created and/or when an employer unilaterally makes significant changes to an employee’s job role or terms and conditions. Whether an employee can make a successful claim for constructive dismissal will often hinge on their ability to prove that the employer’s actions constitutes a breach of the implied duty of trust and confidence. To help reduce the likelihood of such claims, employers should be proactive in developing a supportive and lawful workplace culture. This can be achieved by ensuring that employees are properly trained, fostering an open-door policy for employees to express concerns and implementing regular employee engagement initiatives.

An employee’s rights to be treated fairly during maternity leave are protected by both the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Maternity Protection Regulations of the ESA. The ESA establishes critical employment terms and standards such as minimum wages, hours of work, and statutory maternity and paternity leaves. Employers must also adhere to the provisions of the ESA in all their business decisions. If an employer violates the provisions of the ESA, an employee can file a complaint with an Employment Tribunal.

The Maternity Protection Regulations of the ESA prohibit an employer from taking any adverse action against an employee while they are on maternity leave. This includes changing an employee’s job title, duties or responsibilities. Employers may be excused from making such changes to an employee’s job when the change is unrelated to their maternity leave and made for a legitimate business reason.

Constructive dismissal during maternity leave?

Amber, a marketing manager for an automotive manufacturing company, began her maternity leave in September 2010. During her maternity leave, her employer decided to remove her from her managerial position and replace her with another employee named Rosie. This resulted in a loss of both her salary and benefits. She filed a grievance but this was unsuccessful.

In a successful claim for constructive dismissal lawyer, an employee will need to demonstrate that their employer acted in a way that was so severe and intolerable that they felt they had no choice but to resign. This is an extremely difficult standard to meet, and not many such cases win.

The role of a constructive dismissal lawyer extends beyond simply representing clients in legal proceedings; they also offer crucial pre-litigation advice. This preventive aspect of their work involves advising employees on how to document and address issues before they escalate to the point of resignation. Employees are encouraged to keep detailed records of incidents, communications, and any attempts to resolve the situation internally. This proactive approach can strengthen a future case if the need arises and may also provide leverage in negotiations with the employer.

It is therefore important that an employee seeking compensation for constructive dismissal during maternity leave understands the potential impact of a tribunal award on their salary and other employment-related expenses. This information will help them decide whether a claim is worth pursuing, and if so, to calculate an acceptable offer of settlement from their employer. In most cases, a claim for constructive dismissal will be resolved out of court through a settlement agreement. Having the assistance of an experienced lawyer can be essential for ensuring that such agreements are fair and reasonable.

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