Employers and employment lawyers all around the country were on the edge of their seats yesterday, eagerly awaiting the High Court's decision in relation to the existence of an implied term of trust and confidence in Australian employment contracts. Contrary to the majority Full Federal Court decision (please refer to our earlier blog "Implied Term of Trust and Confidence: Where to From Here"), the High Court rejected the proposition that all Australian employment contracts contain an implied term that the parties “will not, without reasonable cause, conduct itself in a manner likely to destroy or seriously damage the relationship of confidence and trust between employer and employee”(Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Barker  HCA 32). I'm pretty sure that the High Court Judges in Canberra heard the big sighs of relief from our clients and employers across the country!
However, the High Court did leave open questions regarding whether there is a general obligation to act in good faith in the performance of contracts (including employment contracts). So...the law, as always, still has some questions to answer.