Case Study – Assamoi v Spirit Pub Company (Services) Ltd

This was a case for constructive dismissal that demonstrated that employers may prevent a breach of trust and confidence by making amends for the mistreatment of an employee:

Mr Assamoi, a kitchen worker at a pub company, raised a grievance against his immediate manager following various disputes that had arisen between them. A senior manager realised that Mr Assamoi had been unfairly treated by his immediate manager and upheld his grievance. The senior manager then took steps to rectify the situation, but Mr Assamoi resigned and brought an unfair dismissal claim. The employment tribunal dismissed Mr Assamoi’s claim, but he appealed.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed that Mr Assamoi’s immediate manager had treated him badly. However, it also found that the treatment was not sufficient to amount to a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence. The senior manager had tried to remedy the situation and, thus, had prevented the matter from escalating into a breach of the implied term, which would have justified Mr Assamoi’s resignation and subsequent claim of constructive dismissal.

This ruling shows that if employers investigate employee complaints of mistreatment and take appropriate action, a claim for constructive unfair dismissal can be avoided.