A family member is working as a professional cleaner for a company specialising in cleaning contracts in retail. He works "remote" in as much as he is the only cleaner on site. His contact with his manager is via SMS and phone.

Recently his relationship with his manager has deteriorated, however now we are unable to contact his manager (specifically at the moment to request holiday and ask about possible discrepancies with pay and holiday allowance). He won't answer or return calls, and has on one occasion hung up (we called from a phone he wouldn't recognise and he hung up as soon as we said who was calling). All attempts have been made during reasonable office hours.

We've so far been unable to contact his boss' boss, either.

We're getting to the point now where I believe he should leave his job, and would have a reasonable case for "constructive" dismissal.

In general are there any sort of regulations that one should be able to always contact a manager, regardless of the relationship?

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    What is the reason he's trying to contact the manager? – Allen Gould Aug 28 '13 at 15:18
  • Also it might be worth adding in is this a cash in hand job or is there actually a law binding contract involved for a job as a cleaner? – Michael Grubey Aug 28 '13 at 15:39
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    When asking legal questions, remember that you are talking to a world-wide audience here. Employment laws differ a lot between different countries. – Philipp Aug 28 '13 at 16:24
  • Is he still being paid? – thursdaysgeek Aug 28 '13 at 17:31
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    I don't see how this is a legal question. OP simply mentions legal action, doesn't ask any advice about it. – rath Aug 28 '13 at 17:45

I'm assuming you're in the UK, but valid grounds for constructive dismissal are listed here for your country:


To sum it up, you'll need valid proof of the immediate manager ignoring the employee, and the employee has to resign within reasonable time of the trigger, as in when the managers began making the job difficult with the goal of pushing away the employee.

But since I'm not a lawyer, and the context isn't completely clear (what if this employee is simply incompetent and calling in the middle of the night?), don't act until you've consulted an attorney. These situations are tricky and the employee could end up shafted if mishandled.


To clarify, I'm in Canada so I can only speak on my experience here. One should always be able to contact a manager, otherwise this falls under them 'ignoring concerns' and is grounds for constructive dismissal. This is regardless of relationship with the employee. Family/Friend doesn't matter, although the relationship will likely come under consideration if any legal action is taken. If there is proof from the managers perspective of overlooked incompetence due to the relationship, you may not have a leg to stand on.

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