Constructive dismissal and resignation due to work stress
In terms of section 186(1)(e) of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 constructive dismissal occurs where an employee terminated a contract of employment with or without notice because the employer made continued employment intolerable. Work stress is becoming more and more imminent in the workplace. Some employees feel that the amount of work stress also makes their continued employment intolerable, and then they claim constructive dismissal. This raises the question whether the courts should apply the same tests they apply in constructive dismissal cases as well as in cases where the employee resigns because of work stress. But, if the same tests that are used to determine if there has been a constructive dismissal are used in a case where an employee resigns because of work stress, a real danger exists because then it can lead to the misuse of a claim of constructive dismissal by employees who cannot handle a minimum amount of work stress. Over the years the courts have indicated that they apply an objective test in cases of constructive dismissal. This leads to the argument whether subjectivity should play a role, and whether one should look at the subjective perspective of both the employer and the employee. This research looks at numerous court decisions, from both the South African legal system as well as the United Kingdom legal system, in order to determine which tests the South African courts need to apply when they are confronted with a constructive dismissal claim where the employee resigned due to work stress. Constructive dismissal – resignation – work stress – stress due to an excessive workload – work stress and employee wellness – stress based claims.
- Law 
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