Employment Law Bulletin - Issue 84 - 20 July 2010

Tuesday 20 July 2010

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Employment Appeal Tribunal

Effective date of termination

Wedgewood v Minstergate Hull Ltd UKEAT/0137/10/DA
Where a termination date had been agreed by the parties and the Claimant was to be paid up to that date, a subsequent agreement that he did not have to come in to work from an earlier date did not change the effective date of termination.
For the full judgment, click here.

Resignation/dismissal

Willoughby v CF Capital plc UKEAT/0503/09/LA
The EAT reviews the cases in which "special circumstances" ought to indicate to the person to whom words of dismissal or resignation are addressed that the words are not meant or should not be taken at face value. In the present case although the letter of dismissal was sent on the mistaken premise that the Claimant at a meeting had agreed to take up self-employment thereafter, the Claimant was entitled to rely on it as having effect.
For the full judgment, click here.

Compensation

Brown v Baxter t/a Careham Hall UKEAT/0354/09/SM
The Claimant could not claim "stigma damages" for the loss of a subsequent job after the Respondent provided what she claimed to be an untrue reference. On the facts of the case the Employment Tribunal was entitled to conclude that the unfavourable reference was not in consequence of the dismissal within section 123 Employment Rights Act 1996. Chagger v Abbey National [2010] IRLR 47 distinguished.
For the full judgment, click here.

Yorkshire Housing Ltd v Cuerden UKEAT/0397/09/SM
Section 407(1)(a) Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 is concerned with payments to a beneficiary out of a pension scheme, and is not directed to an Employment Tribunal award of compensation in respect of loss of pension rights on termination of employment. Awards for pension loss are taxable and therefore should be grossed up.
For the full judgment, click here.

Breach of contract

Worral & ors v Wilmot Dixon Partnerships Ltd UKEAT/0521/09/DM
The Employment Tribunal had erred in finding that a clause in a collective agreement with respect to added years on voluntary redundancy had been incorporated into the Claimant's contract of employment. However even if it had been incorporated, regulations in 2006 had the effect of removing it and therefore there was no breach of contract. Parkwood Leisure Limited v Alemo Heron [2010] IRLR 298 considered.
For the full judgment, click here.

Interim relief

Dandpat v University of Bath & Anor UKEAT/0408/09/LA
Under s.128 Employment Rights Act 1996 a Claimant may claim interim relief where he claims he was dismissed unfairly for making a protected disclosure if it appears to the Employment Tribunal that "it is likely that" the substantive complaint will be made out. At a preliminary hearing the EAT held that procedure for making such a decision is summary in nature and does not always require the hearing of witness evidence. The EAT held that the meaning of "likely" given in Taplin v C Shippam Ltd [1978] IRLR 450 had not been invalidated by SCA Packaging Ltd v Boyle [2009] IRLR 746.
For the full judgment, click here.

Age discrimination

Kraft Foods UK Ltd v Hastie UKEAT/0024/10
A contractual redundancy scheme which incorporated a cap preventing employees recovering more than they would have earned if they had remained in employment until retirement age was justifiable and not unlawful discrimination contrary to the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. Since the purpose of the scheme was to compensate employees for the loss of the expectation of remaining in employment, the imposition of the cap necessarily constituted a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
For the full judgment, click here.

Costs

Nicolson Highlandwear Ltd v Nicolson UKEATS/0058/09/BI
An Employment Tribunal can be expected to conclude that there has been unreasonableness on the part of a party where the Claimant is shown to have been dishonest in relation to his/her claim and then to exercise its discretion so as to make an award of expenses in favour of the other party. In the present case the Claimant had been dismissed for deliberate conduct which amounted to fraud. Although the dismissal was automatically unfair for failure to follow the statutory procedures, no award of compensation was made. The Employment Judge had however erred in refusing an application for expenses by the Respondent by taking irrelevant factors into account. It was not open to a Claimant to pursue an unfair dismissal claim purely for the purpose of obtaining a declaration that he was unfairly dismissed.
For the full judgment, click here.

 

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