The case of Robins v Trigg dealt with an employee who resigned complaining of unfair constructive dismissal.
The question was whether the employee's loss of earnings was caused by the unfair dismissal or by her absence due to long term sickness.
The employee had been on sick leave for four months before she decided to leave and claim constructive dismissal.
In calculating the compensatory award, the judge decided that the course of conduct by the employer, that of incidents of bullying and overwork led to the sickness absence. These incidents were in accordance with the 'last straw principal' were part of the constructive dismissal. The illness came at the end of a series of events and meant that when deciding compensation, constructive dismissal should be treated differently to normal or 'actual' unfair dismissal.
The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) decided that the employer's conduct breached implied terms of her contract. The breach was a factor in the constructive dismissal, and the illness of the Claimant was in consequence of her dismissal. This led to the loss of earnings. That the earnings would otherwise have been paid in full by the employer meant that this money should therefore be compensated for in full.
The decision in this case has been overturned by the Court of Appeal. Further information can be found
© Workrep 14 / 06 / 2007