Chambers' employment barristers act and advise in all employment tribunal matters in Leicester, Nottingham, Birmingham and further afield including disability discrimination, holiday pay, breach of contract and unfair dismissal cases.
Many employment tribunal claims concern constructive dismissal claims where an employee can resign because of an employers serious breach of contract towards him. In legal parlance he can accept the employer's repudiation of the contract. For this, the employee can rely upon the employer's breach the implied term in the contract of mutual trust and confidence. However employers should be alert to a defence they may have if the employee has first broken the employment contract. If so, the employee is not entitled to claim unfair constructive dismissal by claiming a repudiation by the employer because he has first destroyed the employment relationship. This happened in the recently reported case of RDF Media Group Plc V Clements  IRLR 207 in fact a High Court case, which of course New Walk Chambers employment barrister cover as well.
There Mr Clements had agreed a 3 - year non-competitive agreement with his employers RDF Media Group which he wished to get out of. The agreement provided that the 3 year period would be reduced to 2 years if the employers unlawfully dismissed him. Clements alleged that the employers had breached the implied term of trust and confidence by inter alia going to the the press with unflattering remarks (that Mr Clements was a "phenomenal egomaniac" and other information. The High Court held that the employer had indeed overstepped the mark by going to the press [other comments made internally that Mr Clements was "a bit dim" did not breach the term] and these were in breach of contract as being a serious attack on his character. However Mr Clements could not rely on the employer's breaches because he himself had been earlier in breach of contract by contacting a competitor of the employer and disclosing confidential information: Mr Clements himself had been disloyal and in breach of his own duty of fidelity.
The result was that Mr Clements had not been unlawfully dismissed by the employer and thus was bound by the full 3 year period of his non-competition agreement with the employer.
Wait for the new direct public access employment barrister's website which will be out soon. New Walk Chambers employment barristers as well as offering their services for employment tribunal claims can now in certain cases offer their services direct to the public.
This applies to employment tribunal claims for both Claimants and Respondents in all areas of employment law.
Written by Robert Rees, Barrister at New Walk Chambers, specialising in Employment Law.