The normal options for an employer in this situation are to accept the breach of contract and allow the employee to leave without further pay, or to buy time using a 'garden leave' clause (if there is one) keeping the employee from going straight to a competitor while continuing to pay them.
The employer in this case took a third course, and tried to work with the employee to achieve a handover within a reduced notice period. When the employee did not agree to the arrangements, the employer refused to pay him.
The court supported the employer. The contract would last until the reduced notice period expired, and the employer was entitled to withold the employee's pay if he did not come to work.
As Andrew explains,
While many employers will not want to adopt such a risky approach, this case does illustrate a possible “third way” for employers when a trusted member of staff wants to leave immediately but where the employment relationship has not completely broken down. It allows an employer to try to hold the employee a period of notice, potentially without paying them if he/she refuses to work and if the garden leave clause is not invoked.