Pensioner Neville Bould, 68, of Stourport, Worcestershire, has lodged a claim
for unfair constructive dismissal, alleging he was physically assaulted on two
occasions by employees of a jewellery firm where he worked as a van driver.
He complained about the attacks to police and eventually resigned over his
“One employee elbowed me, then hit me in the face, took my glasses after they
had been knocked off and gave me a V-sign,” Mr. Bould told Birmingham Employment
“On another occasion, a different employee struck me on my side as he went
past, to such an extent that I felt sick and had to go home and lie down.
“I needed painkillers and went to hospital. I was left with bruises. I
complained to the management and when I looked in the firm’s accident book, the
assault was recorded as a collision.
“Apart from physical assaults, I had to put up with verbal abuse, harassment
and bullying. The final straw came when I had to take gold and silver in the
works van to assay offices in Birmingham.
“I found myself surrounded by four thugs. I locked myself in the van as they
tried to get in. Eventually, I drove off, unhurt.
“I complained to the firm about a lack of security. More should have been
done to protect me, such as having bars on the vehicle, but no-one seemed
The Kidderminster Shuttle reports Mr. Bould’s former
employer, Acme Jewellery, of Belbroughton, Worcestershire, denies all
allegations. The hearing continues.
How to prove constructive dismissal
To prove constructive dismissal, you must show that your
employer committed a serious breach of contract, you did not accept
the breach, and you resigned because of the breach. Examples of
serious breaches of contract in this context include the following:
- Unilaterally cutting your pay;
- Arbitrarily demoting you to a lesser role;
- Changing your job duties, working hours or place of work without your
- Failing to give you reasonable support to carry out your job without
disruption, harassment or bullying from co-workers; &
- Forcing you to work in conditions where health and safety regulations are
Constructive dismissal cases are hard to win, however,
so you should always seek advice before quitting your job. Factors such as your
employment status, the terms of your employment contract, length of service, and
reasons for leaving all require consideration.
You can obtain further information about constructive dismissal and guidance on what your
options are for dealing with the situation from Directgov, Citizens Advice
Bureau (CAB) and ACAS. Both CAB and ACAS provide free and impartial advice.
Other sources of free information include Worksmart and FindLaw. Depending on your circumstances, however, it
may be better to speak with a
solicitor who specialises in employment law.
You can be matched with an employment law solicitor in your area
for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand
the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a
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