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Constructive Dismissals and Grievances

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[Thanks to Will Dobson, pupil barrister at Cloisters, for summarising this case]

The EAT, in Parsons v Burworth Estates (Underhill P presiding), has held that there was no reason why a tribunal could not consider a constructive unfair dismissal claim on a 'severed' basis, where some of the employee's complaints had been the subject of a grievance but others had not.

The EAT had previously held in Cyprus Airways v Lambrou that there was no juridical basis for such a 'severed' approach by tribunals. In Parsons, the EAT stated that Cyprus Airways did not "enunciate any general principle about 'severance'. In a case where the claimant relies for the purpose of his constructive dismissal claim on a series of quite discrete breaches, but has failed to lodge a grievance in respect of some them, we can see no reason in principle why he should not pursue his claim insofar as it is based on the remainder". A claimant will still need to establish that the breaches on which he is entitled to rely are those in response to which he resigned (at para 23).

This decision will come as a relief to claimant lawyers who have faced strike out applications - often successful - on the basis of the principle as previously understood to be set out in Cyprus Airways .