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What constitutes a fundamental breach?

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article What constitutes a fundamental breach?On 7 Mar 2000 in Personnel Today This week’s case roundupEuro-Die (UK) v (1) Skidmore, (2) Genesis Diesinking, IDS Brief, 655 EAT• Skidmore started employment with Genesis in June 1986. On Friday 9 January1998 he was told Genesis would cease trading with immediate effect but he couldwork for Euro-Die, which would be continuing the business from the followingMonday. Skidmore asked Genesis for confirmation that his continuity ofemployment would be protected and resigned after Genesis failed to provide thatassurance. He claimed constructive dismissal against Genesis and Euro-Die. The tribunalheld there was a transfer for Tupe purposes and as the transfer was the reasonfor Skidmore’s “dismissal” it was unfair and liability for thispassed to Euro-Die.Euro-Die appealed and argued that it was not liable for Genesis’ failure toprovide the assurance as it occurred before the transfer, when there was nocontract between it and Skidmore. Further, that that failure was not seriousenough to amount to a fundamental breach of contract. The EAT dismissed the appeal and held that the information requested bySkidmore was crucial and the timing of his request critical. Failure to providethe assurance was a fundamental breach of the implied term of trust ofconfidence, entitling Skidmore to resign, and Euro-Die was responsible forGenesis’ actions before the transfer.Care needed when investigating complaintsSmith v Zeneca (Agrochemicals), unreported, February 2000, EAT• Smith was employed under a one-year fixed-term contract and had beensubjected to a number of incidents of sexual harassment from her line manager.She complained about him and gave evidence at the subsequent disciplinaryhearings. When her contract expired it was not renewed and Smith brought adiscrimination claim. At the hearing she raised a new claim alleging thehandling of her complaint constituted further harassment. She alleged that thequestions asked of her had been unnecessary and inappropriate. The tribunal held that it had no jurisdiction to consider the new claim, onthe basis that it had not been disclosed earlier. Smith appealed. The EAT heldshe should have raised her new allegations before the hearing to enable thefirm to prepare its case. The balance of injustice lay against the hearing ofthe new allegation and Smith’s appeal was unsuccessful.last_img read more

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