Grebosz v Sandpiper CI

03 August 2021
Judgement on JLIB website


unfair dismissal


Ms Grebosz was employed by Sandpiper for over 10 years.  She was signed off for work-related stress and she was treated unfavourably due to this period of illness, as she was penalised her for not following the proper procedure for reporting sickness by withholding her sick pay.  The Tribunal felt that this punitive action was petty as she was not advised that she needed to call rather than email.   

Ms Grebosz had a holiday booked but could only afford a later (cheaper) return flight due to her sick pay being withheld.  She requested an extension to her pre-booked holiday but was told this was not possible, especially given isolation requirements upon her return from overseas.  Ms Grebosz was told by a member of the HR team that she must send a copy of her booked return flight details showing her planned return within her pre-booked holiday dates, or her resignation.  The Claimant duly resigned. 

Ms Grebosz then went abroad and upon her return was again signed off for stress.  On her return to work, she was subjected to a disciplinary procedure for unauthorised absence.  The initial outcome was gross misconduct and summary dismissal, but this was commuted to a final written warning on appeal, and she was offered a Supervisory role at another store.  Ms Grebosz declined and upheld her resignation, citing a breakdown of trust between herself and her employer. 


Tribunal judged that her resignation was triggered by the conversation with HR where she was essentially told to resign, which could reasonably be seen to fundamentally damage the relationship of trust and confidence and therefore upheld the unfair dismissal claim.  The award was reduced by 50% as Ms Grebosz indicated to HR that she did not plan to return as scheduled from the holiday and the Tribunal felt that had she not indicated such, HR would not have asked for her resignation. 


Be careful not to indicate that you want an employee to resign.  This can lead to a claim of damage to trust and confidence and therefore a repudiatory breach.