‘…wilful disobedience of an order will justify summary dismissal, since wilful disobedience of a lawful and reasonable order shows a disregard — a complete disregard — of a condition essential to the contract of service, namely, the condition that the servant must obey the proper orders of the master, and that unless he does so the relationship is, so to speak, struck at fundamentally.’

‘…wilful disobedience of an order will justify summary dismissal, since wilful disobedience of a lawful and reasonable order shows a disregard — a complete disregard — of a condition essential to the contract of service, namely, the condition that the servant must obey the proper orders of the master, and that unless he does so the relationship is, so to speak, struck at fundamentally.’It is not disobedience to refuse to perform work outside the terms of the contract O’Brien v Associated Fire Alarms Ltd [1968] 1 WLR 1916 (CA)

It is not disobedience to refuse to perform illegal work

Morrish v Henlys [1973] ICR 482 (NIRC)

Co-operation
Secretary of State for Employment v ASLEF (No 2) [1972] 2 QB 455 (CA)

Lord Denning, MR (492): ‘If he, with the others, takes steps wilfully to disrupt the undertaking, to produce chaos so that it will not run as it should, then each one who is a party to those steps is guilty of a breach of his contract. It is no answer for any one of them to say “I am only obeying the rule book,” or “I am not bound to do more than a 40-hour week.” That would be all very well if done in good faith without any wilful disruption of services; but what makes it wrong is the object with which it is done.’

Competence
Worker should be reasonably competent to do the job.

Harmer v Cornelius (1858) 141 ER 94; (1858) 5 CB NS 236

Employee can be liable in damages for failing to exercise reasonable care and skill
Janata Bank v Ahmed [1981] ICR 791 (CA)
Fidelity
Duty to account for secret profits

Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co v Ansell (1888) 39 CHD 339 (CA)

Duty to disclose misconduct
(i) Disclosure of one’s own misconduct

Bell (& Snelling) v Lever Bros [1932] AC 161 (HL)

See also: University of Nottingham v Fishel [2000] ICR 1462 (QBD); Neary v Dean of Westminster [1999] IRLR 288 (Visitor, Westminster Abbey)
(ii) Disclose another’s misconduct
Sybron v Rochem Ltd [1983] ICR 801 (CA)

See Freedland (1984) 13 ILJ 25, Honeyball (1983) 42 CLJ 218

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