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Constructive Dismissal and Contributory Conduct

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Thanks to Mark Humphreys of Littleton Chambers for preparing this case summary

Can contributory fault be found in a case of constructive dismissal?

Potentially yes, but unusually and not in the circumstances of Firth Accountants v Law held the EAT.

Mrs Law was constructively dismissed and resigned after her employer raised performance and behaviour concerns about her with her son.

No contributory fault was found on the facts, but such a finding would, in any event, be unusual.

Constructive dismissal focuses on the respondent's conduct and their repudiation of the employment contract, for example here, by breaching trust and confidence.

In contrast, contributory fault relies on the complainant's conduct, its culpability and causative role.

However, the test for contributory fault in s.123 ERA can apply to any dismissal and so in an appropriate case may potentially be met with a constructive dismissal.