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Communicating a Dismissal

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Can a dismissal be implied by the inaction of an agency employer to find work for its employee? In the case of Sandle v Adecco, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) said no.

The employee was an agency worker employed by the agency but working on assignment at another company. When her assignment ended, the agency failed to take any steps to find her other work and made little attempt to contact her, assuming that she was not interested in further agency work.

The employee also made no attempt to contact the agency, but subsequently brought a claim of unfair dismissal.

The Employment Tribunal found that she could have claimed constructive dismissal, but had not done so. It further found that there had been no direct dismissal by the agency as the employment relationship was still continuing when the employee lodged her claim.

The employee appealed to the EAT.

The EAT dismissed the appeal, holding that in the absence of any communication of dismissal by the employer and no resignation by the employee, there was no dismissal, nor could one be implied by the inaction of the employer. The employment relationship was, therefore, still continuing when the employee brought her claim.

Therefore the employee could not prove she had been dismissed, and her claim failed.

If you have any queries regarding the above should contact Sally Morris at or on 01905 610410.