Employment Essay

Wilson v Racher 1 Wilson v Racher Wilson v Racher Court Date decided Citations Court of Appeal 15 February 1974 [1974] ICR 428, [1974] IRLR 114 Judges sitting Edmund Davies LJ, Cairns LJ and James LJ Keywords Wrongful dismissal Wilson v Racher [1974] ICR 428 is a UK labour law case concerning constructive dismissal. It serves as an example of an employer being found to have wrongfully dismissed an employee, because of the employer’s own bad behaviour. Edmund-Davies LJ also made an important statement about the modern employment relationship, What would today be regarded as almost an attitude of Czar-serf, which is to be found in some of the older cases where a dismissed employee failed to recover damages, would, I venture to think, be decided differently today. We have by now come to realise that a contract of service imposes upon the parties a duty of mutual respect. ” Facts Mr Wilson, a “man of considerable competence” was the head gardener of an 80 acre estate at Tolethorpe Hall, Little Casterton, Stamford.

He was employed by Mr Racher. He was employed for a fixed period of six months and his contract said this. “Your employment will commence on April 24, 1972, and shall continue thereafter unless and until terminated by either of us by notice in writing expiring on October 23, 1972, or any anniversary of that date. ” When the two men first met there was “a complete conflict of personalities” and Mr Racher sacked Mr Wilson on June 11. Mr Wilson claimed this was wrongful dismissal.

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Mr Racher claimed the dismissal was for incompetence and misconduct, though the former allegation was dropped during trial. The question was whether the dismissal – ie termination of the contract – on grounds of misconduct was wrongful. Wilson v Racher 2 Judgment Edmund Davies LJ, with whom Cairns LJ and James LJ concurred, held that in fact it was Mr Racher responsible for the breakdown of the employment relationship and that he had…


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