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Hutchison v The Scottish Ministers - No claim for repudiatory breach where contract has been affirmed [2013] EAT

Affirmation of contract rules out claim for repudiatory breach

Ms Hutchison began employment as a senior depute procurator fiscal in August 2003. In May 2011 she was certified by her doctor unfit to work due to ‘work-related stress’. She remained absent due to her medical condition until November 2011. In September and October 2011 her employer operated a voluntary exit scheme (VES) in which all staff with permanent contracts were invited to express an interest. Ms Hutchison was absent on sick leave but became aware of the scheme and contacted her employer asking for details of the scheme. She was advised any application that she wished to make would be accepted for consideration. She completed an application and submitted it and received a quote. She accepted the quote and negotiated with her employer regarding the leaving date. She was paid a lump sum then submitted a claim that she had been unfairly constructively dismissed. She argued that her employer had breached her contract resulting in her stress related illness. Her claim was dismissed as having no reasonable prospect of success at a PHR and she appealed.

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