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Beware! These ten things could open the door to a constructive dismissal claim

by , 15 September 2014
Constructive dismissal is when your employee resigns from your company because he believes you made work unbearable for him - whether a once-off incident or a series of incidents.

The labour courts see constructive dismissal as an unfair labour practice (Labour Relations Act).

So if your employee resigns and later takes you to the CCMA, claiming constructive dismissal and, it finds you guilty, you'll have to fork out thousands of rand in compensation.

Our advice when it comes to constructive dismissal is prevention is better than cure.

That's why we recommend you take a look at these ten things that could lead to a constructive dismissal claim so you can avoid doing any of them.

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Never do these ten things – this type of treatment can lead to a constructive dismissal claim

  1. Offering your employee a more junior position and, when he doesn't take it, you threaten to dismiss him.
  1. Taking an illegal deduction from your employee's salary so he resigns.
  1. Giving your employee an illegal instruction that forces him to resign.
  1. Not doing anything when your employee reports sexual harassment.
  1. Reducing your employee's pay without reason.
  1. Demoting your employee without a good reason.
  1. Unnecessarily disciplining your employee.
  1. Changing the nature of your employee's job.
  1. Harassing or humiliating him constantly.
  1. Victimising your employee.

These are just a few of the common reasons for constructive dismissal, but there are others. We cover them in the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

Never do these ten things and, as a rule, never act in a way that's unfair to your employee. It could lead to constructive dismissal claims and that's the last thing you want because it means you'll have to fork out compensation costs.

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