This week’s case round up

Delayed
resignation did not prejudice claim

Abbey National v Robinson, unreported November 2000 EAT

Robinson
made a formal complaint about her manager after being bullied by him for about
a year. He was then disciplined and Robinson was told he would be transferred
to another role. But at a meeting in August 1997, Abbey National indicated the
manager would not be transferred after all and offered Robinson alternative
employment, which she declined. In July 1998, Robinson resigned and brought a
successful claim of constructive dismissal. The tribunal found that Robinson
had resigned because of the effect of Abbey National’s conduct after the August
meeting.

Abbey
National unsuccessfully appealed, arguing the tribunal had misdirected itself
by disregarding the fact that the resignation took place almost a year after
the repudiatory breach – that is, the failure to transfer the manager in 1997.

The EAT
held the tribunal was correct to consider the entire period from the time of
the repudiatory breach until the resignation. Further, a breakdown in trust and
confidence could be established by a course of conduct over a period of time
and not simply by a single event.

 

Two awards for injury to feelings appropriate

Roselec v Cashmore and Anystaff Recruitment, EOR
Discrimination Digest 45 EAT

Cashmore, a
female electrician, was registered with Anystaff, whose client, Roselec,
refused to interview her because it felt electrical work was inappropriate for
a woman.

Cashmore
brought successful sex discrimination claims against both firms. The tribunal
held there were two acts of discrimination, one by Roselec when it refused to
interview Cashmore, another by Anystaff when it knowingly aided the commission
of an unlawful act by Roselec. Further, the tribunal found that Anystaff had
prevented Cashmore from finding out the real reason for being refused work. The
tribunal awarded £3,000 compensation for injury to feelings against both
Roselec and Anystaff.

On appeal,
the EAT rejected the argument that Cashmore had suffered injury to feelings
only once and that the £3,000 should be split. It held that even though the
discrimination arose from one episode, there were different areas of injury:
Roselec’s refusal to interview Cashmore injured her feelings, as did the
possibility that Cashmore’s chances of finding work through Anystaff were
inhibited. Separate awards were appropriate.

Comments are closed.