Morrow v Safeway Stores (2002 IRLR 9)

If an employer breaks the "mutual trust and confidence" a member of staff may be justified in treating himself or herself as constructive dismissed without necessarily first trying to resolve matters through a grievance procedure.

Case facts

Morrow was employed by Safeway Stores as the bakery production controller at its Swindon store. She complained of constructive dismissal on the grounds that for several months she had been subjected to harassment and unreasonable pressure by the store manager and that she had received no support from her staff or from her assistant.

In particular, she relied on an incident that occurred on 20 August 1999 when the store manager gave her a severe telling off in front of other members of staff and at least one customer.


Conclusion for me

It is an implied term in every contract of employment that an employer will not, without reasonable cause, act in a manner that is calculated and likely to undermine the relationship of trust between the parties or act in a manner that is likely to seriously damage that relationship.

This term is fundamental to the employment relationship, which means if the employer breaks it, a member of staff will be justified in treating himself or herself as constructively dismissed without necessarily first trying to resolve matters through a grievance procedure.


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Updated: 8th May, 2021
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