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Discovering Vice President’s salary accidently and telling a few colleagues not gross misconduct

Makbool Javaid

In Jagex Ltd v McCambridge, M was summarily dismissed after finding a document that had been left on the communal printer which contained the salary of a senior employee and telling a few colleagues about it. Although M was not responsible for any wider dissemination of the information, it was embarrassing for the employer when the level of the executive’s pay became more generally known in the office. The EAT agreed with the ET that M’s dismissal was unfair. There was no error in the ET’s approach to the construction of the contract and its finding that M’s behaviour did not constitute gross misconduct. There was no express term of the contract that salary information was confidential, and nor could it be implied into the contract; in any event, even if it had been, there was no breach of Clause 14 in the contract concerning confidential information. The employer had wrongly sought to make an example of M to cover their own discomfiture and had been exceptionally heavy handed. No reasonable employer would have dismissed M for what he did.

The updates are kindly provided by Simons Muirhead & Burton Law firm

This update provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and help judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information.  Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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