News and Events

New EAT Decisions

  • Posted

These cases are unreported (although some may be reported in due course). The transcripts were recently posted on the EAT website

Barlow v PE Jones Contractors Ltd [Mr Recorder Langstaff QC, 4th March 2002]
A potentially important case on the definition of 'worker', where the Respondent had inserted clauses into the contract of employment designed to negative any employment relationship. Many of the clauses were clearly gleaned from previous cases and the contract was a textbook example of the right things to include so as to prevent an employer/employee relationship arising. The employees claimed paid holiday under the Working Time Regulations, and argued that many of these clauses were intended to contract out of the legislation and were therefore void. The EAT did not consider it necessary to deal with this point, instead preferring to allow the appeal on the grounds that the employment tribunal seemed to have applied the test for who is an 'employee' rather than who is a 'worker'.
• click here for the Barlow decision

Curr v Marks & Spencers plc [HHJ Wilkie, 6th March 2002]
An employee had a four year break in her employment, pursuant to the Marks & Spencers' Child Break scheme. Whilst it was clear that there was no governing contract of employment during those four years (so as to enable continuity of employment to continue accruing), the majority of the EAT held that she was "absent from work in circumstances such that...[she] is regarded as continuing in the employment of her employer for any reason" under ERA 1996, s212. Accordingly her continuity of employment remained unbroken during the four year gap and she was entitled to a redundancy payment based on her accrued continuity of employment dating back to 1973.
• click here for the Curr decision

Miller Bros. v Johnson [Mr Recorder Langstaff QC, 14th March 2002]
An employment tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear breach of contract claims where the breach occurred after termination of employment, even if the contract (being a compromise agreement) arose because of the termination of employment.
• click here for the Miller Bros. decision