EAT decisions on what is capable of amounting to repudiatory conduct for the purposes of bringing a constructive unfair dismissal claim are always helpful as it is such a big bold step for an employee to take that, in recommending such a course of action, we need to be confident that a successful claim will ensue.

The EAT in the case of Mr Bedford v Pilgrims Group Ltd looked at whether non payment of four days holiday amounted to a repudiatory breach.  They found against the Claimant that the Tribunal were entitled to conclude he was not constructively dismissed.

The EAT referred to the established guidance in Western Excavating Ltd v Sharp [1978], London Borough of Waltham Forest v Omilaju in relation to the last straw doctrine and the case of Malik (recently affirmed by the COA in Bournemouth University Higher Education Corporation v Buckland [2010]) in relation to the implied term of trust and confidence.

They found that failure to pay four days holiday was a breach of contract but a minor one and not one entitling the employee to treat the contract as repudiated.  Furthermore, they found that the breakdown of the employment relationship was the attitude of the Claimant not the Respondent.