If a final straw is 'entirely innocuous' does that mean all previous conduct by an employer is irrelevant?
No, held the EAT in Williams v Alderman Davies Church in Wales Primary School.
The Claimant failed in a claim of constructive unfair dismissal before the employment tribunal. There was a final act which was decided to be entirely innocuous by the tribunal. They decided that meant, despite previous poor conduct which had not been affirmed, the Claimant had not resigned in response to a fundamental breach of contract.
The EAT decided that was the wrong approach. HHJ Auerbach said:
"so long as there has been conduct which amounts to a fundamental breach, [the breach has not been affirmed], and the employee does resign at least partly in response to it, constructive dismissal is made out. That is so, even if other, more recent, conduct has also contributed to the decision to resign."
Thanks to Matthew Jackson of Albion Chambers for preparing this case summary.