Publication Date



An employee worked under a project that terminated and was then placed on unpaid leave for almost nine (9) months when she was appointed to another post in another town, Choma. The issue here was does the employee have any relief for being unpaid for the 9-month period?

The Supreme Court held that the employers conduct amounted to a fundamental breach of contract when the employee was placed on unpaid, forced, indefinite leave. Therefore, due to their failure to pay the employee whilst he was still an employee, the employer not only breached the duty to pay wages, which constitutes breach of contract.

The Supreme Court held that even though she had been waiting for 9 months and even transferred to Choma, she could still claim breach of contract and treat the contract as terminated as she had not taken any action that could be interpreted as approving or adopting the unilateral variation of the contract.