Post Office v Roberts: EAT 1980

When looking to see whether there had been a fundamental breach of an employer’s or employee’s obligations, the conduct of the parties has to be looked at as a whole and its cumulative impact assessed: ‘in each case, in our view, you have to look at the conduct of the party whose behaviour is challenged and determine whether it is such that its effect, judged reasonably and sensibly, is to disable the other party from properly carrying out his or her obligations. If it is so found that that is the result, then it may be that a Tribunal could find a repudiation of contract.’ There was however no implied obligation on an employer to treat an employee reasonably: ‘So expressed, in our view, such a term is too wide and too uncertain and we could not endorse any such implied term in those terms. It is, of course, plain that there are some obligations in a contract of employment which the employer must comply with reasonably and an employee must comply with reasonably. There are other terms, such as the payment of salaries or wages due, which do not admit of any reasonable compliance, there must be compliance.’


Talbot J


[1980] IRLR 347


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedAbbey National Plc v Fairbrother EAT 12-Jan-2007
EAT Unfair Dismissal
Disability discrimination
The Tribunal had found a dismissal to be unfair because of flaws in a grievance procedure, following which the Claimant had resigned. They also found . .
CitedBaldwin v Brighton and Hove City Council EAT 14-Dec-2006
EAT Sex Discrimination – Transsexualism
Unfair Dismissal – Constructive dismissal
Gender reassignment. Employer’s lack of knowledge. Meaning of ‘treats’ (SDA s2A(1)(a).
Constructive dismissal – . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 07 May 2022; Ref: scu.279812