Sorry – it’s me again! Here’s the full story – just to clarify a few points!

My friend initially gave verbal notice in July. His employer (large multinational)talked him into staying with the promise that things would change and in particular, the requirement to travel would be much reduced. In practice nothing changed and he put his intention to leave into writing in early September. Having lined up alternative employment and having received an offer of employment on the basis that he started two weeks before the agreed leaving date (which was already reduced from the contractual notice period). He tried on a number of occasions to discuss this with his superior – who ignored these requests and completely avoided the situation until the week before his newly requested leaving date. His manager is now threatening to persue my friend for damages in breach of contract and the new employer for inducing the breach. His manager has also denied him access to corporate/group HR. Can anyone clarify the following questions:

1) The contract of employment states that notice in writing is required – how would the verbal notice be viewed if this matter is taken in front of a court of law? And would his manager’s avoidance of the situation be taken into account?

2) If the old employer does persue a claim for damages – would their denial of my friend’s access to HR count against them?

3) The new employer has been made aware of the situation now following these threats. They have suggested that my friend gets himself signed off with work related stress arising from this situation – if he does this and is found to be working for the new employer during this period – what could his old employer do?

4)What typically could the old employer claim in damages?

5) Does anybody have any statistics on how often employers sue for this type of breach and how often are they successful?

Thanks for your patience…….your help and advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
Phil Ballard