For disobedience to justify dismissal, the orders must have been within the scope of the servants' duties, and there is little doubt that the principle which was carried to extreme in some of the earlier cases would not now be enforced. For example, a servant was dismissed for having visited against orders her dying mother, and the refusal of a man to take his master's horse to the marsh until he had had his dinner, which was ready for him, was held good cause for dismissal. A single act of disobedience which does not cause any loss to the master will not justify dismissal. For disobedience to justify dismissal it would have to be of a serious kind, such as staying out all night contrary to orders or for being . repeatedly disobedient to 'the orders and regulations laid down by the master. The disobedience most be wilful, and the commands of the master reasonable". when Mr. Pickwick visited the seminary for young ladies, late in the evening, and mistaken for a burglar, it was unreasombale for the proprietress of the establishment to threaten the cook with instant dismissal because she would not go downstairs first to see who it was who was disturbing the household. Incompetence or Unskilfulness This will seldom justify in practice the dismissal of the average servant, and only applies to one hired for some specific purpose or paid extra wages on account of his skill. Such as a professed cook or a medical nurse, and in both cases it would be necessary to prove gross incompetence.
To dismiss a servant without notice because the dinner was badly cooked or because she had broken a valuable piece of crockery in the washing up, would probably be regarded by a County Court judge as a very high-handed procseding