It is always a brave employee who resigns in the expectation of being able to bring a successful constructive unfair dismissal claim. The need to be able to demonstrate a repudiatory breach of a term of the contract, particularly if relying upon breach of an implied term such as that of trust and confidence, is enough to put many off the prospect of tribunal proceedings. This is particularly so in cases where the employee is relying upon a series of events, which on their own may not amount to a serious and fundamental breach, but cumulatively tell a completely different story.
A tribunal claim reported in today’s Telegraph is an example of where a series of events have a cumulative effect of amounting to breach by the employer of the implied term of trust and confidence and where the employee resigns in response to the final ‘trigger’ event.
This case involves Tanya Henderson, a dental receptionist, who had an affair with a dentist in her practice (when he was separated from his wife, she says). When colleagues found out about the affair there started, allegedly. a series of incidents including the downloading of adult pornography onto her computer, being hit around the head and an incident involving the cashing up of takings.
She has won her unfair dismissal claim and reached a settlement with the practice.