This week's Case roundup
delay in walking out
Smith v United Assurance Employee Services Limited, EAT All ER (D) 74 17 April 2002
Smith was employed as a sales manager with a weekly target of 10 appointments. Smith's employment was taken over by United Assurance. In February 2000, it decided unilaterally to increase his appointments target to 15 per week. He complained that the requirement was unreasonable.
He carried on working to his previous target of 10 appointments per week for the next two months until 3 June 2000, during which period he also took two weeks' leave.
On 3 June 2000 Smith resigned, alleging constructive dismissal. The employment tribunal rejected his complaint on the basis that while the increase in weekly appointments was found to be a fundamental breach of his terms and conditions of employment, since he had taken no steps to treat the contract as at an end and had carried on working for two months, he had accepted the breach and waived his right to claim constructive dismissal. He appealed.
Smith's appeal was unsuccessful. His failure to protest or invoke a grievance procedure or request the assistance of the trade union demonstrated that Smith had failed to take any steps to treat the contract as at an end. Consequently, Smith was deemed to have affirmed his contract.
Safeway Stores v Sim, Scottish Employment Appeal Tribunal EAT website 10.8.02, 30 August 2001
Lorraine Sim was employed by Safeway. She was involved in an altercation with her manager, Urquhart. Both provided a conflicting account as to what happened, and Sim alleged she had been assaulted and restrained by Urquhart. Following the incident, Sim went home without authorisation.
Another manager carried out an investigation, and concluded that Sim had made false allegations. He wrote to Sim stating that no action would be taken against Urquhart and said on her return to work she would be called to a disciplinary hearing "relating to false allegations made by yourself against your store manager and leaving the store without authorisation".
Sim, who had not returned to work since the incident, was by this time suffering fro