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Re-Enagement and Loss of Statutory Rights

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A couple of interesting points crop up in the EAT's decision in Wolff v Kingston upon Hull City Council.

Unreasonable pursuit of re-engagement claim
The EAT approved the award of costs against Mr Wolff for unreasonably pursuing a re-engagement claim. He had been dismissed from a school and accepted he could not return to that school, but sought re-engagement in another school run by the city council. The city council argued - correctly - that it is the governors of individual schools, not the Council itself, that has the power to appoint teachers.

In the absence of financial losses, the Council offered �1,000 in settlement but the Claimant insisted on his day in court to argue re-engagement. The ET (and EAT) held that this was unreasonable, particularly in the context of a clear steer from the employment tribunal at a case management discussion.

Loss of Statutory Rights
An interesting point arose here. The Claimant found a new job immediately, and over a year had elapsed prior to the remedies hearing. The Respondent argued he should not be entitled to the conventional �250 for loss of statutory rights, as he had succeeded in re-establishing statutory protection and therefore suffered no loss. The EAT rejected this argument, holding that the Claimant was entitled to compensation for having worked for a year "under the shadow of being dismissed without statutory protection" and upheld the award of �250.