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Resignation under duress

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  • Resignation under duress

    hi all, hope you can advise on the following

    i was a full time employee for a company, had been there for 1 year 5 months.

    one morning I was summoned by the director to his office immediately.
    he told me that he was aware I had done something which he felt was gross misconduct, he had consulted the companies legal advisor “Peninsula “
    he said that I had a choice to either be dismissed with immediate effect and it would be recorded on my personnel records and would cause problems with any future reference or I could resign with immediate effect and it would not be recorded

    i resigned with immediate effect

    on reflection I feel that I was put under pressure to resign without being given the opportunity to defend myself.
    i did not receive any pay in lieu of notice

    is there anything I can do ?
    Tags: None

  • #2
    A common tactic these days.

    The problem you have is that your service at the company is less than 2 years which means that you can only claim unfair dismissal under certain circumstances. In my case, I was discriminated against, (and could prove it), because I'd elected to take Paternity leave and the overlords weren't very happy about it. I got a settlement.

    But, the law at the moment states that unless you have 2 years qualifying service, you can't really make any claim for unfair dismissal. They're free to give you notice but it sounds like your former boss didn't want to pay you the notice.

    So the first question is, are there any discriminatory grounds on which you could base a claim for unfair dismissal? Whistle blowing? Paternity/Maternity? Religious reasons. Even then, can you prove it?

    The second question is, is is worth kicking up a fuss? If you have committed something that could be construed as misconduct, you are potentially opening a can of worms. What was your conduct like at work before that meeting with director? Employer disputes can get pretty nasty; I've been on the receiving end of some awful tactics. It might be worth your while swallowing your pride and looking for a new job.

    Remember, you're at liberty to tell prospective employers now that you left of your own accord. You might not seem so appealing if they think you were fired! That's exactly why your former boss has acted this way, it's awful and not really fair but you have to balance it out at the end of the day.
    Last edited by MasterCoder; 8th November 2018, 15:14:PM.


    • #3
      Had you actually done anything that might be construed as gross misconduct ?

      Any discussions whatsoever regarding the 'incident' before you went into the office ?

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      • #4
        At the meeting was any indication given as to what you had done wrong and why they believed it to be gross misconduct?

        Unfortunately, as Mastercoder has said, with less than 2 years’ service, you can be (fairly) dismissed without your employer giving any reason at all. Although with anyone who has gone beyond their probationary period I would always advocate an employer follows a procedure to dismiss an employee with less than two years’ service that is in line with best practice. There are certain types of dismissal that are automatically unfair even if there is less than two years’ service but I would need to know what the grounds were to see if you would qualify.

        When you resigned did you put this in writing?

        Effectively what the process would be is that you would need to write to the company to rescind your resignation on the grounds that it was under duress and without full details of the alleged misconduct matter (if that is the case). The company then has the option to accept or not, however if they accept your rescinding of your resignation then I believe they would just go straight into a disciplinary process and even with an appeal the likely outcome would be that you would still not be in a job with that company.

        What you need to consider is do you want to channel your energy going down this route with the likely outcome being any further employer asking for a reference would be told you had been dismissed, or use your time to start looking for a new job in the knowledge your reference will be that you had resigned?

        I appreciate this is not a nice situation to be in but sometimes it is best to move on and focus on finding employment with a better employer.
        I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
        If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.

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