If you are still working for the company, you can file a claim with a request that your name should not be disclosed to the employer. If you are not currently working for the company, it should not matter whether the employer knows your name. Some standards are so unique that they cannot be investigated without identifying you. The officer assigned to your file would advise you whether or not your complaint can be investigated without identifying you. The Act protects you if you are trying to exercise your rights and if the employer takes steps to penalise you because you have approached the Ministry, the officer assigned to your file is empowered to prevent the company from taking such an action and if the company is hell bent on penalising you, the officer can impose additional penalties on the company.
Under the Act, the employer can terminate the employment of an employee for any reason, what is required is that the employee must be given proper notice or pay in lieu of notice. There is no such thing as wrongful dismissal. The entitlements under any type of termination, that is, whether it is wrongful or constructive, is the same. The entitlement depends on the length of service. The maximum notice required is eight weeks if the period of employment is more than eight years. For the first three months of employment, your employment can be terminated without notice. If you happen to work for a company whose payroll is more than $2.5 million and you have worked for five or more years, you would also be entitled to severance pay in addition to notice or pay in lieu of notice. The severance pay is one week for each year of service, maximum of 26 weeks.
The employer agreed that the employee’s duties were to change in January 2003 but denied there was an overall increase in her responsibilities. It was the employer’s position that changes made to the employee’s contract of employment did not constitute fundamental changes as she had performed these duties at one time or another during her period of employment and there was no change in pay or other conditions of employment. The changes made fell under her core responsibilities. It disputed her claim of constructive dismissal.
This case demonstrates how constructive dismissal is interpreted under the Act. It also shows that the appeal of the Ministry’s decision does not always results in employee’s favour.