In our 1 September newsletter we covered the case of Sunrise Brokers LLP v Rodgers where an employee accepted a job offer from a competitor, resigned with immediate effect and refused to return to work during his notice period. The employers exercised their right not to accept the resignation but stopped paying him because of his refusal to return to work. The High Court confirmed that, as the employee was not willing to work, the employers were under no obligation to pay. They were also entitled to an injunction preventing him from working for a competitor or contacting his former clients until the end of the reduced notice period that they had agreed to accept.
The Court of Appeal has now confirmed this decision, whilst drawing attention to the unusual facts: the issue had only arisen because the employers had not invoked their right to put the employee on garden leave. If they had, he would have been entitled to be paid. As we pointed out in our comment on the High Court case, in practice many employers will not want the employee to remain at work and will prefer to put the employee on garden leave if they have a right to do so.