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In the case of Cavenagh v William Evans Limited, the Court of Appeal held that and employer can not go back on a contractural right to make payment in lieu of notice once it had started that option. 

This is often the case when an employee leaves or is leaving, the stone get truned over, the truth will out!  But misconduct does not mean an employer can renage on the contract between the two parties.  Such action does not, however, stop reciovery via the smnall claims court or even criminal liability