Constructive dismissal: Assamoi v Spirit Pub Co

01 October 2012

In another recent constructive dismissal claim (Assamoi v Spirit Pub Co) the claimant’s immediate manager had acted in a way that was likely to amount to a fundamental breach of the implied duty of trust and confidence that every employer has towards its employees.

The manager had suspended the claimant from duty for failing to report for work on a day when he had not been required to do so and subsequently failing to attend a disciplinary meeting, which had been called on a day when he was due to be on holiday.

At an investigatory meeting three days later, senior management accepted that the claimant had not been at fault and asked him to attend a ‘return to work’ meeting. After two subsequent meetings, the claimant resigned. He alleged constructive dismissal.

The EAT agreed with the employment tribunal that the investigatory meeting had, in fact, prevented a serious breach of contract from taking place so the client was not entitled to rely on his manager’s earlier actions to claim constructive dismissal.

Point to note –

According to the Court of Appeal, in its decision in Buckland v Bournemouth University, once an employer has committed a repudiatory breach of contract, it is impossible to ‘cure’ it. However, this case shows that, if the employer can prevent matters from escalating before the employee elects to resign, it may prevent a constructive dismissal situation from arising. This is good news for employers.

Other cases on the employment case law update for September 2012:

> Constructive dismissal: Roberts v Whitecross School
> TUPE / unfair dismissal: F&G Cleaners v Saddington
> Redundancy: Wrexham Golf Club v Ingham
> Restrictive covenants / directors' duties: Safetynet Security Ltd v Coppage