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Doctrine of constructive dismissal in labour/employment law in Nigeria: A review of the decision in <i>Modilim v</i><i> United Bank for Africa PLC</i>

C.J. Ubanyionwu
Cajetan Osisioma


The terms and conditions of a contract of employment must be respected and obeyed by both the employer and the employee. Situations, however, arise when these terms are explicitly or implicitly breached by the employer. This may give rise to claims for constructive dismissal. In Labour/Employment law, constructive dismissal1occurs when an employee resigns as a result of the employer creating a hostile, intolerable, or unfavourable work environment. Because the resignation is not truly voluntary, it is, in effect, a termination. Generally, a constructive dismissal leads to the employee's obligations ending and the employee acquiring the right to make claims against the employer. Thus, an employee can  successfully make a claim for constructive dismissal when an employer  commits a breach of the fundament terms and conditions of the contract of employment, or where an employer makes a unilateral change to the terms and conditions of the contract of employment without notice to the  employee or the latter’s consent. In this article, the author reviews the decision of the court whilst x-raying the scope and applicability of the doctrine in Nigeria as well as instances that may give rise to claims for constructive dismissal.

Keywords: Constructive Dismissal, Labour/Employment Laws, Modilim v United Bank for Africa PLC. Nigeria