New Judgment: Societe Generale, London Branch v Geys  UKSC 63
19 Wednesday Dec 2012
On appeal from:  EWCA 307
By a majority, the Court held that wrongful repudiation terminates a contract only if and when accepted by the innocent party. To allow the repudiation of an employment contract by express and immediate dismissal, to automatically terminate the contract rewarded the wrongful repudiator by allowing him to select a termination date that suited him to the detriment of the innocent party. Also by majority, the operation of a payment in lieu of notice clause did not dispense with the requirement of an employee to be notified of termination. An employee should not be required to check his bank account to discover if he was still employed. The Court held unanimously: both that the was no inconsistency with a 3 months’ notice contractual provision and the payment in lieu of notice clause in an employee handbook; and that a claim could be brought for wrongful dismissal, despite a contractual provision purporting to require the employee to waive his right to claim damages – which, when interpreted in line with established authority, must be construed in the employee’s favour given its ambiguity.