29 May 2014 #Employment
It’s a well known principle that in order to claim constructive dismissal an employee should not delay when resigning in response to a fundamental breach of his/ her contract.
Therefore, it was no surprise that the EAT held in the case of Cockram v Air Products plc that an employee who resigned but then proceeded to work a seven month notice period (his contractual notice period was three months) could not claim constructive dismissal.
In this case the employee, Mr Cockram, resigned in response to a grievance outcome citing a breakdown in trust and confidence. He stated that because he had not secured alternative work he needed to remain in work for a “reasonable” period of time to ensure he had financial security. This in fact resulted in Mr Cockram working a seven month notice period. He later sought to claim constructive dismissal. However, the EAT held that by working for seven months he had in fact affirmed any breach of his contract and was therefore not entitled to claim constructive dismissal.
This decision is not surprising as it reiterates the essential rule of a constructive dismissal claim; that an employee should not delay when resigning.