CONTRACT AND EMPLOYMENT COURSEWORK ESSAY

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Please provide a written answer of no more than 2000 words on the assessment
Question below. The submission date is 9thJanuary 2012
Each part of the question carries equal weight.
Reading
You should read the cases indicated below, the sections on unfair dismissal and garden leave in the textbooks and, in particular, the following :
Smith & Wood, ―Employment Law‖, 10thedition 2010, ch 7 and pp 390-391 and
the relevant cases cited therein.

Students must also read and discuss the following cases.

Evening Standard Co. Ltd. v Henderson [1987] ICR 588
William-Hill Organisation Ltd. v. Tucker [1998] IRLR 313 CA
Standard Health Care Ltd v Gorman [2010] IRLR 233 CA
Symbian Ltd v Christensen [2001] IRLR 77 CA
SG&R Valuation Service Co LLC v Boudrais [2008] IRLR 770

Databases:
Heinonline
Westlaw
LexisNexis

Assessment Question
Clarissa has been employed for over thirty years as a projectile technician at
Precision Missiles plc. Her contract of employment may be terminated by either side giving 6 months’ notice. There is no express “garden leave” clause.

She has access to the rapidly changing missile technology, including the secret
guidance systems used by Precision Missiles plc. that give their missiles great
accuracy over long ranges. This is the reason why many foreign governments buy
the missiles that Precision Missiles produces.

Sadly, during 2011 Clarissa experienced a difficult divorce, which meant that her
work suffered. At a major missile test and display event, where buyers from foreign
governments were present, she carelessly left the trigger switch (that fires the
weapons) in the factory, so the display had to be aborted. She received an informal
warning about this. Thereafter her supervisor was sympathetic and, for a time,
matters improved.

However, at the re-scheduled demonstration which was held a month after the first
incident she inadvertently programmed the demonstration missile to fly for 100km
rather than the planed 1km (the latter distance being the limit of the firing range).
Had the mistake not been discovered the missile might have landed outside the firing
range. Calculations suggested that it would have landed relatively harmlessly a cow
barn in Surrey. Subsequently and fearing a more serious future lapse on Clarissa’s
part, her managers lost confidence in her.

Clarissa was dismissed by her employer with 6 months’ notice. Her contract will
terminate on 31stMarch 2012. Because of her colleagues’ safety concerns she is
sent home on “garden leave”. This means that she is not required to work during her
notice although she will be paid. She complains unsuccessfully about this
arrangement because she wants to do her work. On 1stJanuary 2012 Flare Missiles
offered her a job provided she can start with them by 1stFebruary 2012. She wishes
to do so.

Advise her (i) whether she can successfully pursue a claim for unfair dismissal
compensation against Cascade; (ii) whether she can lawfully accept Flare’s offer of
employment and, if your answer is in the negative, what consequences there might
be if she does accept it.

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