Breach of Contract

If an employer fundamentally breaches a contract of employment, it could lead to the employee resigning. If an employee fundamentally breaches a contract of employment he or she could be dismissed.

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A breach of contract occurs if either the employee or employer does not do something the contract says they will do.

For example, an employer could breach the contract by reducing pay without the agreement of the employee, or an employee could breach the contract by refusing to carry out an essential duty or by giving confidential company information to someone outside the organisation.  

A ‘fundamental’ breach by the employer may entitle an employee to resign claiming ‘constructive dismissal’.  A breach on the part of the employee may justify disciplinary/dismissal action by the employer depending on the seriousness of the breach.  

Changing a contract

Changes can occur in working relationships and contracts of employment for all kinds of reasons. Problems can often be avoided or resolved through discussion. There are some legal considerations which may come up when employers or employees wish to make changes to their contract of employment.

See: Advice on Agreeing and Changing Contracts of Employment

Last updated: 30 May 2019