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Intention to Vary Contract

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The EAT has upheld an employment tribunal's decision that a conversation between the Claimant and his manager at the office Christmas dance did not amount to an enforceable promise to increase pay.

At the end of the company's annual dinner-dance, the manager promised the employee a substantial pay rise over the followign two years.

Two years later, although he did receive a substantial pay rise, it was not quite as large as the one he had been promised two years before. He resigned and claimed constructive dismissal.

The EAT held that the original promise was not contractually enforceable, as there was no intention to create legal relations. The tribunal had been right to take into account that the conversation took place during a social event when spouses attended, and was made during the "convival spirit of the evening".

Accordingly the Claimant failed in his constructive dismissal claim.

This case is worth reading - particularly the rather amusing opening paragraph.

Judge v Crown Leisure Ltd.