How Not to Arrive at the Decision to Dismiss an Employee
13 September 2013
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update
The case of Grant David Vincent Williams v. Jefferies Hong Kong Ltd illustrates how an employer can breach the implied duty of mutual trust and confidence that it owes to its employee in the way it treats that employee leading up to his summary dismissal. Although in Hong Kong an employee does not have the right to bring a claim for "unfair dismissal", if the employer's conduct towards the employee during employment leading up to a dismissal is irrational, this can be a breach the employer's duty of mutual trust and confidence giving rise to substantial damages. In the Jefferies case the plaintiff employee was awarded damages in excess of HK$14 million and costs on an indemnity basis.