When is bullying at work constructive dismissal?

sarah ryan
Sarah RyanAccount Manager @ Lawhive & Non-Practising Solicitor
Updated on 8th February 2024

When is bullying at work constructive dismissal?

Workplace bullying is when someone persecutes you at work, for example they might try to humiliate you or intimidate you.

There's no legal definition of bullying and workplace bullying can take many different forms. Which makes it difficult to know if you might have a a constructive dismissal claim.

You might be able to make a constructive dismissal claim if you resigned because your employer allowed you to be bullied or harassed at work and that the treatment you were experiencing made it impossible for you to continue working.

What are some examples of bullying?

Bullying at work doesn't always show itself as aggressive behaviour, nor is it always noticeable straight away. It might be that:

  • A co-worker is spreading malicious rumours or gossip about you

  • Your manager or colleague humiliates you in front of others

  • You are given meaningless or impossible tasks

  • You're excluded from a project or work team to humiliate you

  • You are picked on by colleagues

  • Your manager threatens you with the sack without reason

  • You are physically or verbally abused at work

  • You are attacked or gossiped about on social media, like on Facebook

If you're unsure whether you're experiencing bullying at work, check out our article with more examples of bullying at work, or contact us for a free case assessment to better understand your options.

What can you do about bullying at work?

Nobody has to put up with being bullied at work. You have legal rights and many options.

If you feel that you are being bullied, the first step is to talk to someone. Initially, this might be an informal conversation with the person who is doing the bullying to make them aware of the impact of their behaviour. If this doesn't solve the situation, there are other avenues to explore, such as:

  • Keep a diary of proof

  • Raise an official grievance

  • Resign

  • Make a claim for constructive dismissal

If you do want to make a constructive dismissal claim related to bullying at work, it's important to first seek legal advice from a trade union representative or an expert employment solicitor.

Constructive dismissal claims can be very difficult to prove and win, so it's important to take action quickly and early to improve your chances of winning.

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