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21 Cards in this Set

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Addis v Gramophone Co Ltd (1909)
Mr Addis was Gramophone’s manager in their Calcutta office when he was given six months' notice (as required under his contract) and a successor was appointed. Gramophone took steps to prevent Mr Addis continuing to fulfill his duties as manager which caused him significant humiliation. The Court awarded him £340 for loss of commissions and £600 for wrongful dismissal. However, it ruled that any further compensation was impossible as compensation should only be limited to ‘actual losses’.

Remember: This case demonstrated that, in claims of wrongful dismissal, damages could not be claimed for injured feelings, loss of reputation or a possible difficulty in thereafter finding another job. However, the door is now slightly ajar due to Malik v BCCI.
Alexander v Standard Telephones & Cables (No. 2) (1991)
The claimants argued that a redundancy selection procedure had been ‘impliedly incorporated’ into their contracts of employment. However, although the collective agreement had been in operation for a significant period of time, it had never actually been used in a redundancy situation as there had always been sufficient volunteers available in the past to render compulsory redundancies unnecessary. Therefore, the Court held that there was insufficient evidence from the conduct of the parties to support the argument that they intended impliedly to incorporate the collective agreement on redundancy selection into individual contracts of employment.

Remember: A court, when coming to a conclusion whether or not a collective agreement has been ‘impliedly incorporated’ into a contract of employment, will consider the conduct and actions of the parties, in addition to the ‘aptness’ of any incorporation.
Bluebell Apparel v Dickinson (1980)
Dickinson was a management trainee. Bluebell was a subsidiary of the company that manufactures Wrangler jeans. Dickinson agreed not to make any unauthorized comments of bluebell secrets and for two years he would not work for any business competitor. Dickinson then left the company and joined Levis Strauss. Both work on a worldwide basis. In this case the court said he had trade secrets which would be valuable to a business competitor, Bluebell could stop Dickinson working for Levis and an injunction lasting two years and applicable worldwide was enforced.

Remember: A restrictive covenant must be necessary to protect the business interests of the employer, whilst its length and the geographical area it covers must be reasonable to do so. Compare with Spencer v Marchington.
British Home Stores Ltd v Burchell (1978)
The employer (BHS) suspected, but could not prove at the time of the dismissal, that members of staff (including Miss Burchell) in one of its stores where engaged in theft in the form of shoplifting. The Court held the dismissal to be fair as the employer had followed a fair procedure resulting in a strong indication that the employee was responsible for the theft.

Remember: Firstly, there must be a genuine belief; Secondly, there must be reasonable grounds on which to sustain that belief; Thirdly, the employer must have carried out as much investigation into the matter as was reasonable under the circumstances.
Collins v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (2001)
The employee (Collins) had severely injured his hand and, as a result, had not resumed work for a number of years. Although both parties (employer and employee) continued to behave in a manner which illustrated their belief that the contract was continuing, the Court ruled that it had been frustrated some time ago and so the employee was not entitled to redundancy pay when the company went into receivership.

Remember: It is for the relevant court to decide when frustration has occurred and it may deem this to have transpired at a point when both parties (employer and employee) believed it still to be in operation.
Dacas v Brook Street Bureau (2004)
Mrs Dacas worked as a cleaner for Wandsworth Council (the end-user), having been supplied to them by Brook Street Bureau (the agency). She worked for the Council for a period of four years before being sacked, whereupon she brought a claim of unfair dismissal against both the agency and the end-user. By the time her case had reached the Court of Appeal, her claim was only against the agency - Court claimed it was unable to find a contract of employment to exist between the agency and Mrs Dacas. However, the Court stated that she may have had a strong claim against the end-user based on an ‘implied contract of service’ due to her integration into the end-user’s organization.

Remember: The integration test = likelihood of a successful claim on the part of the ‘worker’ for a contract to exist between said worker and the end-user. However, due to the case of James v London Borough of Greenwich, it would now be a rarity that a court would find an implied contract of employment to exist.
Egg Stores (Stanford Hill) Ltd v Leibovici (1977)
‘It may be a long process before one is able to say whether the event is such as to bring about frustration……..But there will have been frustration even though at the time of the event the outcome was uncertain…….if one can say at some point……..matters have gone on so long and prospects for recovery so poor……..it is no longer practical to regard the contract as subsisting’.

Remember: In cases where an employee has been absent for a long period due to sickness, illness or injury, the employer must consider the nature of the illness (or injury), how long it has been subsisting and the prospects for recovery.
Faccenda Chicken v Fowler (1986)
The employer (Faccenda Chicken) sought a court injunction to prevent two former employees from using their knowledge of sales and price information, which they had garnered whilst employees, when they set up a competing business. The Court held that the information they had been privy to was not confidential information and, therefore, the application for an injunction was refused.
Remember: The Court of Appeal in this case held that there were two types of confidential information – trade secrets or highly confidential information (which is protected even after the employee has ceased working for the employer) and information which should be treated as confidential whilst employed by the organization (as to do otherwise would be a breach of contract) but which the employee is entitled to use to their benefit after leaving unless a reasonable restrictive covenant is in place.
Ford Motor Co v AUEF & TGWU
Ford Motors made an agreement with a number of trade unions regarding the procedure to be followed in the event of disputes arising. A few years thereafter, certain Unions declared a strike – an action which contravened the aforementioned terms of the collective agreement between the parties. Ford Motors therefore took the Unions to court, seeking an injunction against the impending strike action on the basis that the collective agreement was legally enforceable. However, the Court held that the collective agreement was not legally binding on the parties involved. Rather, it was binding ‘in honour only’.

Remember: A collective agreement shall only be legally binding if it satisfies the criteria set out under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, Section 179.
Foster v British Gas Plc (1991)
The House of Lords, in considering what constituted an ‘emanation of the state’, deemed the nationalized British Gas Corporation to fall within its definition, thus allowing its employees to rely on the protection of an EU Directive for the purpose of bringing a case of discrimination arsing from compulsory retirement ages before the Court. An ‘emanation of the state’ could be a government organization, nationalized company or a company operating within the public sector.

Remember: Only a government employee or an employee of an employee of an emanation of the state can rely on the protection of a Directive in scenarios where domestic legislation has failed to adequately incorporate that Directive within its parameters. Compare with Doughty v Rolls Royce Plc.
Francovich v Italian Republic (1992)
The Italian government had failed to implement the 1980 Insolvency Directive within its domestic legislation by the due date three years later. As a result, an employee was unable to recover wages owed to him following his employer’s insolvency – a scenario which led him to sue the Italian Government for compensation. The ECJ upheld his claim due to it having satisfied three conditions, amongst which was evidence of a clear connection between a government’s failure to act (adequately) on a Directive and the damage suffered by the individual in question.

Remember: This is a viable alternative for private sector employees who are not protected against their employer where their government has failed to (adequately) implement a Directive within its domestic legislation.
Gray Dunn & Co Ltd v Edwards (1980)
The employee (Edwards) had signed a contract of employment which included an express clause allowing for the incorporation of a collective agreement into his contract. A recently concluded collective bargaining process thereafter resulted in a collective agreement which stated that being under the influence of alcohol at work was grounds for summary dismissal of an employee. Edwards had no knowledge that disciplinary action could now be taken against him for turning up at work drunk and, when he next did so, was summarily dismissed. The Court held that the dismissal was fair.

Remember: A new provision (resulting from a collective agreement) will be binding, even in cases where the employee was not aware of the terms of the agreement.
MacCartney v Oversley House Management (2005)
Mrs Macartney was a resident manager at Oversley House – a care home for those over the age of sixty. Her contract of employment required her to be on-call either on or near the premises for ‘four days per week of 24 hours site cover. More specifically, she was required to be within three miles of the residential home and be contactable by mobile phone at all times during the aforementioned periods.

Remember: In contrast to SIMAP v Conselleria de Sanidid y Consumo de la Generalidad Valenciana and Landeshauptstadt Kiel v Jaeger, it now appeared possible for an employee to be required to be within a certain distance (or conceivably time) from the workplace and benefit from on-call time being ‘working time’.
Marshall v Southampton and South West Hampshire Area Health Authority (1986)
Mrs Marshall, an employee of the Health Authority, was forced to retire at the age of 62, despite expressing her wish to continue working and despite compulsory retirement for men arising at the age of 65 (it was at the age of 60 for women). She claimed, therefore, that she had been discriminated against on the grounds of sex – a violation of the Equal Treatment Directive 76/207. The ECJ held that, as the Health Authority was a public sector organization, it had a duty to act within the terms of the Directive as the relevant UK statute (the Sex Discrimination Act 1975) had not adequately implemented the Directive within the domestic legislation.

Remember: Only a government employee or an employee of an employee of an emanation of the state can rely on the protection of a Directive in scenarios where domestic legislation has failed to adequately incorporate that Directive within its parameters. Compare with Doughty v Rolls Royce Plc.
National Coal Board v Galley (1958)
Galley (the employee) had signed a contract of employment with the National Coal Board which included an express clause stating that his employment was on the basis of ‘the national agreements for the time being in force’. A bout of collective bargaining thereafter had resulted in a collective agreement which required a certain amount of overtime to be undertaken by employees (including Galley). Therefore, when he refused to work a Saturday shift, he was found to be in breach of his contract, where the terms of the collective agreement had now been incorporated into it.

Remember: This is a case demonstrating ‘express incorporation’ of a collective agreement into the contract of employment where the express clause typically states that ‘the terms of employment are such as are agreed with the relevant trade unions from time to time’ or words to that effect.
Panama v London Borough of Hackney (2003)
In this case, the employer (London Borough of Hackney) had failed to carry out an adequate and reasonable investigation into the conduct of one of its employees (Mrs Panama) before dismissing her.
Remember: Although the employer had genuinely believed the employee to be guilty (the first step of three identified in British Home Stores Ltd v Burchell as necessary for a dismissal to be fair), it had failed to comply with the second and third steps – the need to have reasonable grounds on which to sustain that belief and as thorough an investigation into the matter as was reasonable under the circumstances.
Pepper v Webb (1969)
A gardener was asked by his employer’s wife to plant some flowers in a greenhouse, a request he responded to rudely. When his employer then asked him to plant the flowers, he replied, “I couldn’t care less about your bloody greenhouse and your sodding garden” and proceeded to walk off. The court held that the behaviour and actions of the employee had amounted to a repudiation of the contract, which the employer was thus entitled to terminate.

Remember: Repudiation does not terminate the contract. It is simply the refusal of a party to carry out their duties under the contract, which must then be met with an action on the part of the other party to bring the contract to an end eg. summary dismissal.

Remember: An employer may consider alternatives to dismissal eg. suspension, transfer or training. Also, mitigating circumstances may be considered eg. exemplary work history, personal problems, etc. Compare with Taylor v Parson Peebles.
SIMAP v Conselleria de Sanidid v Consumo de la Generalidad Valenciana (2000)
A Spanish court referred the case to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of a Directive. The national court wished to know inter alia whether time spent by doctors on-call, either at medical centres or under a contact system, should be regarded as ‘working time’ and therefore whether that time should be included in the calculation of working hours for the purposes of the 48 hour maximum weekly working time. The ECJ ruled that ‘time spent on-call by doctors in primary health care teams must be regarded in its entirety as working time and, where appropriate as overtime, within the meaning of Directive 93/104 if they are required to be at the health centre’. If they merely had to be contactable at all times when on-call, only time linked to the actual provision of primary health care services must be regarded as ‘working time’.
Remember: In addition the ruling of the ECJ in this case must now be contrasted with that of MacCartney v Oversley House
Sinclair v Neighbour (1967)
A manager took a sum of £15 from a till, leaving an IOU in its place and intending to replace the money a few days later. He was summarily dismissed for a violation of duty to act honestly and the summary dismissal was upheld by the Court.

Remember: An occurrence of dishonesty is likely to warrant summary dismissal, particularly if the act of dishonesty is directly related to a core aspect of the employee’s job – in this case, dealing with and handling money.

Remember: There may be mitigating circumstances such as exemplary work history (Taylor v Parson Peebles), a medical reason, etc. which would lead a court to consider that the employer could have taken a less severe course of action against the employee.
Motorola v Davidson
In Motorola Ltd v Davidson and another (1), dealing solely with the issue of control, the EAT holds that a client of an employment agency had sufficient control over the worker assigned to it to sustain a finding that it was in fact the employer of the worker. The client had as much practical control over the worker as it did in the case of an "orthodox" employee. Moreover, the worker's contractual obligation to the agency to attend work and afford the client faithful service as if he were an employee amounted to a sufficient right of control in the client, given the contractual obligations between the agency and the client. The fact that the agency had similar or greater powers of control over the worker did not disprove the sufficiency of the client's control.
O’Kelly v Trusthouse Forte plc. [1983]
In this case, the regular casual wine waiters entered into a relationship with the company with the expectation of getting any work currently available. Nevertheless, the employment tribunal held that the waiters’ relationship with the company was “a purely commercial transaction for the supply and purchase of services for specific events, because there was no obligation for the company to provide work and no obligation for the waiters to offer their further services.”