Mutual Trust and Confidence

Law Categories

Lewis v Motorworld Garages Ltd (CA 1985)

The last straw doctrine allows a claimant to rely on the accumulative acts of the employer, even though earlier breaches by the employer may have been affirmed, so long as the final act forms part of a series of events with the last event commonly referred to as being the last straw.

Abbey National plc v Robinson (EAT/743/99)

Employees do not have to resign at the first sign of breakdown of the mutual trust and confidence to claim constructive dismissal.

Malik v BCCI (1997 IRLR)

Employers must take care not to damage their employees' future employment prospects, by harsh and oppressive behaviour or by any other form of conduct that is unacceptable today as falling below the standards set by the implied trust and confidence term.

Western Excavating (ECC) Ltd v Sharp (1978 ICR 221)

If the employer is guilty of conduct which is a significant breach going to the root of the contract of employment, or which shows that the employer no longer intends to be bound by one or more of the essential terms of the contract, then the employee is entitled to treat himself as discharged from any further performance.

Horkulak v Cantor Fitzgerald International (2004 IRLR 942 CA)

Foul language in the workplace might be deemed unacceptable if an independent third party would view the situation that way. Regular use of foul and abusive language does not make it acceptable.

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.

Courtaulds Northern Textiles Ltd v Andrew (1979 IRLR 84)

Employers shall not, without reasonable and proper cause, conduct themselves in a manner calculated or likely to destroy or seriously damage the relationship of confidence and trust between the employer and employee.

Nottingham County Council v Meikle (2004, IRLR 703)

Failure to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate a disabled employee can amount to a serious breach of the implied contractual term of trust and confidence, and give the employee the right to resign and claim constructive dismissal.
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