Craig v Abellio Ltd [2022] EAT 43

Appeal against decision that the claimant had not been constructively dismissed as the respondent had not acted in repudiatory breach of the contract.

The claimant, a bus driver, alleged that he had experienced a series of problems with his hours and pay and that when he was on sickness absence the respondent paid the incorrect level of sick pay and failed to address his complaints. A grievance procedure and appeal resulted in an agreement that the respondent would pay over £6,000 in back pay by a specified date which it failed to do so the claimant resigned claiming that this was “the last straw” in a pattern of treatment of him. The ET found that, by agreeing to pay the back pay, the respondent had redressed the pay dispute: the failure to pay on time was simply a mistake and was not a repudiatory breach itself nor “a last straw”

Gavin Maxwell QC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, allowed the appeal. The tribunal had failed to direct itself as to the legal principles applicable to a “last straw” constructive dismissal and failed to engage with the claimant’s factual case on “last straw”. It had also failed to make findings on a number of complaints raised by the claimant and, where it did, failed to explain how the facts fitted into its very brief conclusion on the “last straw” case. The constructive dismissal claim was remitted to a new Employment Tribunal.

Published: 18/04/2022 09:48

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