In Logan v Celyn House Limited UKEAT/0069/12, the EAT considered
a situation where an employee resigned in response to a number of
allegations and then claimed constructive unfair dismissal.
The Claimant, Mrs. Logan, was employed by Celyn House as a
veterinary nurse. In 2012, a dispute arose over rotas resulting in
her being invited to a disciplinary hearing. Mrs. Logan went off
sick before the hearing. She was entitled to receive full pay
for four weeks. However, during this period the company only paid
her Statutory Sick Pay.
Mrs. Logan brought a grievance against Celyn House in relation
to 12 issues, including allegations that she was being bullied by
her manager and a failure to pay her the correct sick pay.
Both her grievances and her appeal were rejected and she
resigned by letter, without mentioning the sick pay issue. She then
brought a claim for constructive unfair dismissal.
The Employment Tribunal rejected her claim. It agreed that the
failure to pay sick pay was a fundamental breach of contract, but
said that this was not the principal reason for Mrs. Logan's
resignation. The main reasons had been the bullying and the
company's failure to address her grievance properly.
The EAT overturned that decision and concluded that Mrs. Logan
had been constructively dismissed. It held that failing to pay the
contractual sick pay was a clear breach of contract by the company
and, provided that this was one of the reasons for her resignation,
even if not the principal reason, the claim must succeed.
Comment: Whilst this case does not break new
legal ground, it confirms that in order to succeed in a claim for
constructive dismissal, the principle reason for an employee's
resignation does not have to be a fundamental breach of
This case also serves as a useful reminder to employers who are
dealing with grievances or sickness absence to carefully check the
terms of the employee's contract as well as the policies and
procedures contained in their handbook.
In October 2012, the Court of Appeal confirmed that a Service Provision Change ("SPC") TUPE transfer can only occur where the client who receives the service, before and after the change, remains the same (Hunter v McCarrick  EWCA Civ 1399).
Following much debate, on 24 April 2013 the House of Lords finally gave its approval to employee shareholder status which will now take effect from Autumn 2013.
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