A former joinery worker has lost his claim in the Employment Tribunal after an Employment Judge ruled that his employers had not breached his contract of employment through their actions.
Mr Martin Tiddles worked for MMR Limited – a joinery firm – as a labourer until he resigned from his job on 29 January 2013 because of the outcome he received to a grievance on 2 November 2012, whilst he was off sick work (he went off work sick on 26 October 2012). Mr Tiddles had submitted a complaint earlier in 2012 regarding a number of issues, one of those being the actions of a senior manager and the actions of senior management in general. A number of his complaints were upheld in the grievance outcome but one of the complaints about a particular senior manager was not dealt with, due to the death of this particular manager a number of days previously. The company stated that the allegation of threatening and bullying against this manager would not be continued “due to the current circumstances”. Mr Tiddles was unhappy with the outcome of the grievance and stated that he believed that this constituted a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence in his contract of employment. He was invited to a grievance appeal hearing and his doctor stated that he was fit to attend this. However, Mr Tiddles chose to resign without notice from his job and not attend the grievance appeal hearing, with this solicitor claiming that the company had committed a repudiatory breach of his contract through its actions.
The former joinery worker subsequently submitted a claim for constructive dismissal to the Employment Tribunal. The claim came to the Employment Tribunal earlier this month, with Employment Judge Ian MacFatridge chairing the hearing. The Employment Judge rejected Mr Tiddles’ claim, stating that he had delayed too long between the breach of his contract (2 November 2012) and his resignation (29 January 2013). This meant that Mr Tiddles had waived the breach of contract and could therefore not succeed with his claim for constructive dismissal.
Chris Hadrill, an employment law solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Constructive dismissal cases are very sensitive and Claimants need to jump a number of hurdles to succeed with them – in this case Mr Tiddles failed to make a claim quickly enough and was therefore unsuccessful with his Employment Tribunal constructive dismissal claim.”
Please note that Redmans Solicitors were not associated in any way with this case and represented neither of the parties