Employment Law Update – Constructive Dismissal / Minimum Wage

Employment Law Update – Constructive Dismissal / Minimum Wage

Case Update

Sickness and Constructive Dismissal

Colomar Mari v Reuters

The Facts

The Claimant was a systems support analyst who resigned after being off sick with stress, anxiety and depression. She brought a constructive dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal.

The Employment Tribunal held that the Claimant had left it too long to resign, after the alleged breach by her employer, so that she could not have been said to have resigned in response to the breach. In fact, by failing to resign sooner, she had been deemed to have affirmed the alleged breach. The Claimant asserted that she had been too ill to resign sooner, but the Employment Tribunal rejected this argument.

The Claimant appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’).

The Judgment

The EAT dismissed the Claimant’s appeal. It noted a previous authority, Hadji v St Luke’s Plymouth, which upheld the principle that an Employment Tribunal may find affirmation of a contract if an employee calls on the employer to perform its obligations under the contract. The court found that the Claimant had done so, by accepting contractual sick pay, and requesting PHI amongst other factors. Neither had the Claimant protested to her employer about the alleged breach.

Tips for Employers

This is a useful case which demonstrates that, by continuing to accept payments under an employment contract, an employee may negate any successful claim for constructive dismissal, should they ultimately resign.

National Minimum Wage Update

Following last week’s bulletin, in which we advised that the government had published its response to the consultation on the draft National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, those regulations have now been laid before Parliament and will come into force on 6 April 2015.

There are additional clauses in relation to hourly paid work and traineeships.

For a copy of the draft Regulations, please click here.