Jamie's story

I’m delighted that I won my unfair constructive dismissal case against my former employer, recovering £5,000 compensation with the support of Unite Legal Services.

23-year-old Jamie Louise worked at a care home in Crossgar, Northern Ireland, where she was employed as a care assistant. 

Two years after joining the company she became a trainee senior care assistant, which was just six or seven months before she resigned from her post and claimed unfair constructive dismissal because of unlawful treatment. 

One month prior to her resignation, Jamie was suspended from work but, at the time, was not given precise details as to why. She denied any wrongdoing and was not interviewed by her employer.

Despite her requests for more information as to why she was suspended, she did not have sufficient detail for her to challenge her suspension effectively. Jamie only got information about her suspension months after her resignation. 

At the time, Jamie’s employer had been underpaying her for three months and claiming that she was a part-time member of staff. Jamie was actually working at least 40 hours a week but was only getting paid for 24 hours. 

She raised a grievance and resigned because of the mistreatment. Her grievance was not addressed by her employer until almost three months after it was raised and was later rejected by them. 

After she resigned, Jamie contacted her local Unite official who put her in touch with Unite Legal Services who went on to successfully bring the claim to Tribunal where it was found that her employer had fundamentally breached Jamie’s contract of employment by not paying her correctly for the 40 hours a week she worked. 

The Tribunal also found that her employer had breached the implied duty of trust and confidence in not providing Jamie with more detailed reasons for her suspension earlier, and by discussing her suspension with another employee.   

Jamie said:

“The treatment I received at the hands of my employer was disgraceful and really upset me. However, being a member of Unite the Union was of great benefit in that the free legal cover I received meant I could avail from Unite Legal Services to help win my case.”