Not returning to work after maternity can be acceptance of constructive dismissal
In this case of unfair dismissal the ET held that although the Claimant had stated in evidence that she did not return to work after her maternity leave because her statutory maternity pay had been discontinued in a circumstance where the employer had been entitled to discontinue her payments, there were a variety of other factors that justified her decision not to return to work and those factors being repudiatory in character, the Claimant was entitled to refuse to return to work and treat the employer’s conduct as constructive dismissal. The ET further held that her failure to return to work constituted a communication of her decision not to return to work, even though nothing was said to the employer. The EAT held (1) that the ET was correct to treat the various repudiatory acts as a sufficient ground for the Claimant’s decision to rescind the contract and claim constructive dismissal; and (2) that while ordinarily it was necessary to communicate a decision not to return to work, the circumstances of this case were eloquent of such a decision and the employer could not have been in any doubt that this was what she
intended; and decision of ET affirmed.
Case: Chemcem Scotland Ltd v Ure UKEAT/0036/19/SS