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Complainant Summarily Dismissed Due to Anticipated Breach of Non-Compete Clause Receives Unfair Dismissal Award

posted 10 months ago

The Complainant in Andrew Revell v Life and Balance Centre ADJ-00039884 was summarily dismissed for gross misconduct for being in breach or anticipated breach of his non-compete clause.

Facts: The Complainant commenced employment with the Respondent as a Chiropractor in July 2020 and was summarily dismissed for gross misconduct on 25th April 2022. In April 2022, before his dismissal, he was offered alternative work that would enable him to obtain a critical skills employment permit (he had a general employment permit in respect of his employment with the Respondent) and apply for residency. He met with his employer to inform him of this and his decision to move on from the Respondent to another chiropractor. The meeting was amicable and the Respondent did not mention the Complainant’s non-compete clause.

He was then invited to a further meeting on 22nd April with no notice that it was disciplinary or investigative in nature. On 25th April, the Complainant could not access his practice hub and later that day he had a further meeting with the Respondent during which he was summarily dismissed.  The Respondent argued that the Complainant was dismissed because of a breach or potential breach of his non-compete clause which prohibited him from practising within 6km of the Respondent’s practice. Initially the Complainant believed that his contract of employment was not valid, but he nevertheless assured the Respondent that he had not and would not solicit any patients from the Respondent’s practice. The Complainant acknowledged that he was wrong to claim that his contract was not valid however due to the assurances he had provided to the Respondent he argued that the Respondent should not have lost trust and confidence in him.

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