If your employer acts in a way that leaves you with no real choice but to resign this is known as a forced resignation. Forced resignation is also known as constructive dismissal.
Forced resignation can occur because of bullying, harassment, underpayment or safety concerns. It could also be the result of coercion – where your employer pressures you to resign by threatening to act against you if you do not.
Forced resignation can be considered unfair dismissal if your employer deliberately tried to make you resign.
If you feel that you are being left with no choice by your employer but to resign, contact your union for advice and support before making a final decision.
What does not count as forced resignation
Forced resignation does not apply:
- If you have done something wrong at work and quit rather than deal with the consequences
- If you quit while you are suspended or under investigation for misconduct
- If you quit because you are unhappy about disciplinary action or performance management
Your boss can take reasonable disciplinary action against you and to manage your performance if necessary. However, they cannot do this in manner this can also be done with the intention to bully you and pressure you into resigning.
Situations like this are difficult. Your union is best placed to offer you advice about your situation.
Funding for this factsheet was provided by:
- the Victorian Government as part of the uTech project; and
- the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Please note that the information given here is general information only and is not legal advice. For further assistance, it is recommended you speak to your union.