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A friend of mine (person A) has had his resignation retraction denied because a replacement (person B) has already been moved (without Person A knowing). However this isn't true, as Person B was notified 2/3 weeks prior (whilst they were on furlough, and wasn't informed they were a replacement for Person A). Whereas notice wasn't given until last week - and wasn't intimated previously.

I understand that a company can reject a retraction without giving a reason, but as they've said that Person B was coming as his replacement, could this amount to constructive dismissal?

Related: The reason for retraction was because the branch is being transferred to another company under the same group, and following discussions with them they want to remain. However it is the previous company that are denying the resignation retraction.

Are there any employment laws being breached, or is it just one of those things?

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  • Your references of persons are confusing. Who is "the existing employee"? who they "were a replacement"? who are "they" who want to remain and who had the discussions you mention there? – Iñaki Viggers Aug 4 '20 at 17:35
  • @IñakiViggers I've edited to try and make it a bit clearer – JWoodley13 Aug 4 '20 at 17:39
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could this amount to constructive dismissal

No, this is not constructive dismissal. This would require the employer to do something that "seriously" breaches Person A's contract and for Person A to resign as a result of it.

Based on what you've told us, that isn't the case. It is perfectly normal for employers to have succession plans in place when employees leave the business. It sounds like that's what's happened here.

There is no requirement for the employer to accept the retraction.

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could this amount to constructive dismissal? Are there any employment laws being breached?

No. Person A seemingly made his decision to resign without knowing about the company's alleged plans regarding his position or employment. Thus, from a legal standpoint it is irrelevant whether or not the company's subsequent explanation for rejecting person A's retraction is truthful.

The latter portion of your question remains unclear. If you mean that the new company intends to retain person A, then what prevents person A from addressing the matter with the new company and notifying it how the previous company is handling the retraction?

Depending on what the previous company is doing, person A might have a claim of tortious interference with [employment] relation if the previous company unjustifiably dissuades the new company from retaining/hiring person A. For this claim to be a viable, person A would need to prove in court that the interference by the previous company was what prompted the new company to desist from retaining person A (or that previous company significantly contributed to that effect).

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