British Aircraft Corporation Ltd v Austin [1978] IRLR 332 EAT

Reports relating to this case:

  • Constructive dismissal: Failure by employer to investigate safety complaint entitles employee to resign

    1 September 1978

    There is an unwritten contractual obligation on employers to act reasonably in dealing with matters of safety or complaints of lack of safety which are drawn to their attention by employees. So long as the complaint is not obviously frivolous, failure by an employer to investigate a safety complaint may in itself amount to a breach of contract by the employer entitling the employee to resign and claim constructive dismissal. This is the important ruling from the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the case of British Aircraft Corporation Ltd v Austin.