Dispute resolution

Court of Appeal - May 2005 Compromise agreement must identify specific complaints Facts Whilst employed by the University of East London, Hinton alleged that he had suffered a detriment as a result of making various protected disclosures. When he later took voluntary redundancy, he entered into a compromise agreement (now known as a “settlement agreement”). The wording of the agreement referred to “final settlement of all claims in all jurisdictions (whether arising under statute,…

Dispute resolution

House of Lords - January 2006 Can an employee based overseas bring a claim of unfair dismissal?   This judgement related to three conjoined cases, each of which concerned an individual who was working overseas at the time of his dismissal.   In Serco v Lawson, the claimant (a British national) had been assigned by Serco (a company based in England) to work as a security supervisor for the Royal Air Force in Ascension Island, a British outpost in the south Atlantic. When he sought to bring…

Dispute resolution

Court of Appeal - May 2007 Without prejudice rule engaged whenever parties contemplated or might reasonably have contemplated litigation Facts Barnetson had a dispute with his employer, Framlington Group Ltd, as to his contractual terms of employment, specifically his entitlement to a bonus and share package. Barnetson issued proceedings in the High Court after lengthy settlement discussions broke down. He sought to rely in his evidence on the content of those discussions, but his…

Dispute resolution

Court of Appeal - July 2009 Should earnings from new employment be offset against compensation for constructive dismissal? Facts Bell brought a successful employment tribunal claim against Stuart Peters Limited (SPL) for constructive unfair dismissal. She had a six month contractual notice period. The tribunal made an award of six months' pay, less credit for money actually paid in the first week of the notice period.   During the six month notice period, Bell had in fact found three…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - April 2010 Appeal to EAT can only be made on a point of law Facts Adeqbuji's claim to the employment tribunal was dismissed, but then fresh evidence came to light which could have changed the outcome of the initial hearing. Adeqbuji brought an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. EAT The EAT ruled that it could not hear an appeal on the basis that new evidence had come to light. This is because the EAT is restricted to hearing appeals based on…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - May 2010 Legal privilege applies to documents provided by HR consultancy Facts Scotthorne was dismissed for alleged gross misconduct, however he argued that the employer had been trying to "get rid of him" for some time. He asked the tribunal to order disclosure of some documents that related to advice that the employer had taken in relation to the dismissal. Tribunal The employment judge refused to order disclosure of these documents, ruling that they…

Dispute resolution

Court of Appeal - June 2010 Amount of severance payment could not be reduced Facts Gibb was the chief executive of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. She resigned days before a report was released linking 90 deaths in the Trust to clostridium difficile. In resigning, Gibb reached a compromise agreement with her employer that included a severance payment of £250,000. However, when the report was published, and it became known that Gibb had received such a large severance…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - June 2010 No remedy of ‘declaration’ in unfair dismissal cases Facts Nicolson was dismissed at a disciplinary meeting following allegations of fraud. The letter of dismissal had been written in advance of the meeting. Tribunal Nicolson successfully brought a claim of unfair dismissal due to the lack of correct procedure. However, the employment tribunal ruled that since Nicolson had contributed 100 per cent to his dismissal, his compensation was to be…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - June 2010 Failure to respond to ‘unless order’ led to claim being struck out Facts Riniker was dismissed for gross misconduct and made a claim of unfair dismissal to the employment tribunal. An employment judge reviewed the case and issued directions to both parties. These included directions to disclose documents and for the claimant to produce a schedule of loss. Riniker failed to meet the requirements of the directions on a number of occasions.   The…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - July 2010 Failure to mitigate loss led to lower level of compensation Facts Kelly was an academic of US citizenship. There had been some confusion over the length of time that she was entitled to work in the UK. She had been dismissed because the university thought that continuing to employ her would have been illegal. In the meantime, Kelly had been granted indefinite leave to remain working in the UK. Tribuna It was found that she had been unfairly…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - July 2010 Ability to pay not a relevant factor in determining compensation Facts Jin claimed that she had been unfairly dismissed and had suffered unlawful deductions from her wages. She had worked for the employer as a Chinese medicine doctor, and there had been a number of arguments between her and the employer from the start of her employment. Tribunal At the employment tribunal, Jin was successful in both her claims. The tribunal concluded that she…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - July 2010 MOD staff overseas could bring claims to UK employment tribunal Facts Wallis and Grocott were both married to NATO personnel who were posted to Belgium and the Netherlands respectively. Both Wallis and Grocott were successful in gaining employment in schools attached to the NATO bases. They were employed as 'locally employed dependants' - an MoD scheme to employ the partners of members of the armed forces, developed to improve morale.   As '…

Dispute resolution

Supreme Court - October 2010 Date of termination was when employee had a reasonable opportunity to read dismissal letter Facts Following an investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct and a disciplinary hearing, Barratt was informed that she would receive a letter setting out the decision of the disciplinary hearing, and that she would receive this by 30 November.   Gisda Cyf posted a letter to Barratt on 29 November which informed her that she had been summarily dismissed. This…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - November 2010 Part payment by the employer did not mean uplift did not apply Facts Rule had succeeded in her claims of race and sexual orientation discrimination. A remedies hearing was then arranged. In the time between the hearing of the case and the remedies hearing, the employer made an interim payment of compensation, and then made a further interim payment after the first day of the remedies hearing.   After the one day of the remedies hearing, there…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - December 2010 Hong Kong employee seconded to London could bring a UK tribunal claim Facts Pervez worked for a Hong Kong-based company, and was seconded to work in London for an associated company. The secondment was not successful and he was told that the assignment would be terminated. Under the terms of his contract, he was required to resign if there were no other suitable roles available. There were none, but he refused to resign and hence he was…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - February 2011 Striking out part of claim was unfair Facts Kerr brought claims of discrimination, including sex, disability and equal pay claims, against her employer. The claim was initially listed as a case management discussion (CMD), heard by an employment judge sitting alone. At the CMD, the employer argued that it would be very difficult to address parts of the claim as they dated back to events in 2005-2008. Three individuals had been named by the…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - March 2011 Solicitors appointed by employer were independent Facts In 2005 Glasgow City Council was aware that it faced potential equal pay claims, and decided to try to settle any liabilities. It appointed a panel of seven firms of solicitors to advise employees. The solicitors held a number of group briefing sessions at which they explained the situation relating to equal pay to employees. They then had a number of group signing sessions at which employees…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - March 2011 Is a claim out of time if the claimant was waiting for the outcome of an internal appeal? Facts Charman was dismissed on 13 March 2010. He appealed against the decision, but the appeal hearing did not take place until 10 weeks later - on 24 May 2010. He was subsequently sent a letter telling him that his appeal had been unsuccessful on 28 June 2010. He then made a claim to the employment tribunal on 21 July 2010.   Charman, who was just 20 years…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - April 2011 Tribunal’s wide-ranging recommendations allowed by the EAT Facts Delambre worked at a large French school in London, as a part-time dinner lady. She was refused promotion to a supervisory position because of her age. She raised a grievance and was then victimised by members of the management team and her conduct was also criticised. Tribunal The employment tribunal was very critical of the way that the school had acted, noting that it seemed…

Dispute resolution , Termination

Employment Appeal Tribunal - May 2011 Reference to incorrect reason for dismissal on ET3 did not make dismissal unfair Facts Screene was employed as a financial controller whose main task was to monitor a German bank into which Seatwave deposited large amounts of money. The bank was a victim of fraud in which 1.7million Euros were lost from Seatwave's account. Screene was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct for failing to note irregular transactions that had taken place over…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - August 2011 Wasted costs order made against claimant's solicitors Facts The claimant instructed Godfrey Morgan Solicitors to act on his behalf in an unfair dismissal claim, on a contingency fee agreement. The fee agreement meant that the claimant would pay the solicitors a set percentage of his compensation if he won at tribunal. He also paid a set percentage of any payment made if the case was settled prior to a hearing. If he did not win the case, he only…

Dispute resolution

Supreme Court - February 2012 Employment relationship had a stronger connection with Britain than with the country in which the employee worked Facts Ravat was a British citizen working in Libya for a German subsidiary of a UK oil-related company on a rotational basis. He worked 28 days in Libya, followed by 28 days in the UK. He was paid in UK sterling which was subject to UK tax. His contract was subject to UK law, and the terms and conditions of his contract (including issues such as…

Dispute resolution

High Court - March 2012 Employee could not be stopped from using sensitive information in a claim Facts BUQ was the Managing Director of a group of companies. HRE was the Chief Executive of one of the subsidiary companies, and reported to BUQ. BUQ was informed of allegations relating to wrongdoings allegedly carried out by HRE. They met, and during the meeting HRE said that he needed to leave and suggested that a severance payment should be paid which would include the price of his…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeals Appeal Tribunal - April 2012 When is the effective date of termination? Facts The employee in this case resigned with immediate effect on 27 January claiming constructive dismissal and unlawful deduction from wages. She wrote three resignation letters and sent them to different people within the organisation. One was received and date stamped on 29 January, although the manager in charge claimed that the letter was not actually read until 1 February. It was not clear…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - June 2012 Can the date of termination vary following an appeal? Facts When approximately £140,000-worth of stock was stolen, the employer carried out an investigation and concluded that Arfan and Mirza were involved. They were both dismissed by letter on 5 October 2010 and both appealed. At the appeal hearing, the decision to dismiss was upheld, but it was agreed that the effective date of termination would be the date of the appeal hearing (4 November 2010…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - August 2012 When is there a failure to mitigate a loss? Facts Saddington and a number of his colleagues worked on a contract supplying window cleaning services, run by Actual Support Services. The service was put out to tender and was won by F and G Cleaners. The employees were not transferred, but were offered the chance to work for F and G on a self-employed basis, which would have meant a reduction in pay, a change to their working week, and a change to…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - September 2012 Can an employer ask for an adjournment at the end of a tribunal hearing to call extra witnesses? Facts Harrold brought a claim of direct race discrimination and victimisation. The main allegation was that the employer had given false evidence to the Nursing and Midwifery Council which had resulted in her being struck off.   On the final day of the hearing, the employer asked for an adjournment so that it could call two further witnesses -…

Equality , Dispute resolution

Supreme Court - October 2012 Claims of equal pay may be brought either to an employment tribunal or to an ordinary civil court Facts 174 women who had primarily worked in roles such as care assistants and lunchtime supervisors wanted to bring equal pay claims based on equal value with male workers who had primarily worked as maintenance workers, refuse collectors and grave diggers. In addition to the women’s claims there were a few claims of equal pay brought by men.   Claims of equal…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal - November 2011 Can an employee be reinstated when compensation has been subject to a reduction? Facts Eleftheriou worked as a bus driver. He had an accident at home which meant that he could not drive, and was subsequently dismissed for capability. However, at the time of the dismissal hearing, he had recovered. Correct procedures were not followed and he successfully claimed unfair dismissal. Tribunal The employment tribunal ordered reinstatement,…

Dispute resolution

High Court - December 2012 Breach of compromise agreement rendered it invalid Facts Imam-Sadeque announced his intention to leave his employer. However, because of his length of service, he would be a 'bad leaver' within the definition of the employer’s share option scheme (usually meaning the employee can be made to sacrifice some scheme rights). He entered into a compromise agreement in which the organisation agreed to make him a 'good leaver' (giving him the ability to exercise his…