Automatic Fire Sprinklers Pty Ltd v Watson [1946] HCA 25 | 23 August 1946

Automatic Fire Sprinklers Pty Ltd v Watson [1946] HCA 25; (1946) 72 CLR 435 (23 August 1946).

The dismissal of an employee terminates the employment relationship but not the contract of employment. An employer may unilaterally dismiss an employee but if the employee is wrongfully dismissed, he or she may elect to treat the contract of employment as terminated and sue for the damage suffered by the being deprived of his or her right to provide their services in return for earnings.

The employee does not have the right to insist on continuous employment, nor can he or she sue for wages if the service had not been provided. The employees only option is to treat the employer’s conduct as a repudiation and on that basis terminate the contract and sue for damages for wrongful dismissal.


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