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Contracts of employment: Implied duty to provide suitable working environment

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    Waltons & Morse v Dorrington [1997] IRLR 488 EAT (0 other reports)

An employer's failure to ban smoking in a poorly ventilated workplace, after it became clear that measures already introduced to resolve the problem of passive smoking were inadequate, was in repudiatory breach of an implied contractual term that it would provide and monitor for its employees, so far as reasonably practicable, a working environment which was reasonably suitable for the performance of their contractual duties, holds the EAT in Waltons & Morse v Dorrington [1997] IRLR 488. In upholding the industrial tribunal's decision that the non-smoking employee in this case was unfairly constructively dismissed, the EAT further rules that the tribunal was entitled to find that the employee did not affirm her contract by delaying her resignation, in order to find new employment, for several weeks after it became clear that the employer would do nothing more to improve her situation.