If an employee has been allowed for many years to breach their contract by, for example, coming in late, disappearing during work time, not doing much work, would it be impossible to get rid of them? Would the employer be regarded as having acquiesced to the breaches of contract?Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 1 November 2011
In a nutshell, it’s not impossible to get rid of this employee but the employer should tread carefully at this stage to help mitigate against the risk of claims. If dismissed now, this employee could potentially bring a claim for unfair dismissal and/or breach of contract against the employer. In doing so, he or she would argue that there has been implied agreement to this behaviour by reason, as the questioner mentions, of the employer having acquiesced to the breaches for so long without, we assume, raising any objection. The employee could also argue that a sudden change in the situation, without warning, is a breach of mutual trust and confidence.
While the employer would be able to run
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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015
The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.