The breach could relate to an express term of your contract of employment, be it one in writing or a term that was only agreed verbally. For example your employer imposes a unilateral decrease in your pay or significantly alters your duties without your consent.
The breach could be in relation to an implied term of your contract. A number of terms are normally implied into every contract of employment. The most common one is the implied term of mutual trust and confidence: neither the employee nor employer should act towards the other so as to seriously harm or destroy the working relationship with the other.
The breach may consist of a single incident or a number of incidents over a period of time, culminating in a final incident which may not be serious by itself but is treated by you as the ‘last straw’ causing you to resign.
It can be difficult to identify if there has been a repudiatory breach of contract. What happened is often disputed and can span a lengthy period of time.Further examples of actions by employers which may amount to a repudiatory breach of contract include:
- removing your car allowance or company car without your agreement
- demoting you without your agreement, or at least without good reason
- acting in a discriminatory way towards you
- not dealing with your grievance in a timely, fair and objective way; or
- unfairly imposing on you a disciplinary or capability procedure or warning.
The above examples will not always be a repudiatory breach of contract. All the circumstances must be considered and each case will be decided on its own facts.