A former employee at a working men’s club has won his claim for constructive dismissal after he was assaulted inside the club.
Mr Smith, a secretary at the Braunstone Victoria Working Men’s Club & Institute for over 15 years, was assaulted in the working men’s club in 2009 by a patron. The patron was subsequently barred from the club but was re-admitted at a later date. Following the club’s decision to re-admit the patron to the club, Mr Smith resigned immediately from his employment. He subsequently consulted employment law solicitors to obtain employment law advice and made a claim for constructive dismissal to the Employment Tribunal.
The Employment Tribunal heard evidence from Mr Smith that he had been assaulted by the patron and that Mr Smith had subsequently submitted a formal grievance regarding this to his employer. However, his employer had failed to show Mr Smith support following the attack and had failed to respond to his grievance regarding the re-admission of the patron. The Employment Tribunal found in Mr Smith’s favour in his claim for constructive dismissal, asserting that the employer’s decision to re-admit the patron was in itself a fundamental breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence that existed between the parties. However, the Employment Tribunal also found that the failure to deal with the grievance and the failure to show support to Mr Smith after the attack would also have constituted fundamental breaches of the contract of employment, entitling him to resign and claim constructive dismissal.
Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “employers have to be extremely careful not to fail to deal with serious issues of health and safety at work – including violent assaults. Employers are also expected to deal with grievances promptly and fairly and to show reasonable support to their staff. A failure to do so can result in an expensive and time-consuming Employment Tribunal claim”.
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