In Rae v Wellhead Electrical Supplies Limited, Ogg, the Finance Director, had not processed salary increases that R, the MD, had promised to staff. R got angry, threw his keys on Ogg’s desk, shouted, “I told you what was going to happen” and then said, “I won’t be back”. When Rastall, a director, found out he said, “Thank f**k. Good riddance”. R explained to Rastall it had not been his intention to resign. Rastall, however, said R’s resignation had been accepted, indicated that R was being treated as a ‘leaver’ and should have no further contact with the business. The ET found that while R’s words were seemingly an unambiguous resignation, the circumstances had to be taken into account. R was angry because of the embarrassment caused by pay increases he had promised not being processed and had acted “on the spur of the moment”. There was considerable ill feeling towards R given Rastall’s comment and Rastall’s and Ogg’s desire to rid themselves of R, meant they seized upon what R said and failed to consider whether R had really meant to resign. Their actions amounted to unfair dismissal.
Saying “I won’t be back” in the heat of the moment was not a resignation given the circumstances
Article by: Makbool Javaid |