A salesman has won a constructive dismissal case after a breach of trust by his employers.
He worked for a company that supplied office equipment and electrical goods. The company experienced numerous problems. Client’s orders would often be delivered late. The goods were also faulty a lot of the time. Occasionally an order would be diverted and not even reach the client at all.
The problems were costing the man money
The salesman had been in charge of the account for one of the company’s biggest clients but they took it away from him. None of this was the man’s fault but it all had a negative effect on his commissions. As he wasn’t getting his proper financial reward for his work, he resigned.
He brought a claim against his employer for constructive dismissal. He said they had breached his trust and confidence. He claimed that the company had also undermined his position by not keeping him informed about suppliers and products.
Company said third parties were to blame
The company disputed the claim. They said that the late deliveries and faulty goods were the fault of third parties. It was not fair for the man to use these incidents in his claim against them because they were not to blame.
They also claimed that there had been legitimate business reasons to divert certain orders and to take the major client’s account away from the man.
Had there been a breach of trust?
The Tribunal had to decide whether there had been a breach of trust. To do this they followed guidelines from a previous case. These stated that for a breach of trust to have occurred, the company must not have had reasonable cause for their actions.
They also state that if it was likely that the company’s actions would damage trust between them and their employee, it would count as a breach of trust. It doesn’t matter if the company’s motives for taking the actions were innocent and legitimate, if they damage trust they will be liable.
The salesman won the case
The Tribunal ruled in the man’s favour. They said that the company’s various actions had led to the salesman losing money. This had led to the trust between the two being damaged.