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Costly mistake for employer who tried to enforce pay cut

The employee had been asked to reduce his hours from 32 to 16 per week, due to the loss of two contract and a downturn in the industry generally. He advised that he could not do that but would go down to 24 hours if his hourly rate was increased by 88 pence. In email exchanges he presumed this had been approved but his employer then asked him to sign a new contract with the original proposal. He could not accept this and resigned and claimed constructive dismissal on the basis that he no longer felt a valued employee and was being forced out.

The tribunal ruled in his favour that he had been entitled to resign as the reduction was a serious matter for him and had constituted a fundamental breach of his contract. His employer had also failed to comply with the ACAS Code in not treating an email from him as a grievance.

He was awarded £16,852.12 for unfair constructive dismissal, which included a 10% uplift for the employer’s breach of the ACAS code.

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