Contracts of employment

Addison Lee drivers are 'workers'

Three drivers for a taxi and courier company were ‘workers’ and not independent contractors.

Ambiguous resignations

An employee’s letter giving ‘notice’ wasn’t an unambiguous resignation.

Enforcing post-termination restrictions and unsigned employment contracts

An employer wanting to vary an employment contract to incorporate more onerous post-termination restrictive covenants must ensure it has evidence of valid consideration for the change and should always obtain proof of agreement from the employee; ideally in the form of signature.

Resigning on notice may amount to affirmation

When an employee resigns and claims wrongful dismissal (not constructive dismissal), but does so on notice, where there is a lengthy notice period, they have affirmed the contract and so lost the ability to claim wrongful dismissal. However, if further breaches occur after affirmation, they are entitled to count the earlier affirmed breaches and claim that cumulatively they have caused the employee to resign without notice. Their restrictive covenants also do not apply.

Zero-hours contracts and pay while suspended

Is a zero-hours contract employee entitled to pay whilst they are suspended and thus not working any hours?

Effective date of termination and minimum notice

Where there is a genuine entitlement to summarily dismiss, an employee cannot rely on the deeming provisions in the Employment Rights Act to get to two years’ qualifying service.

No mutuality of obligation defeats 'employee' claim

Where there was no obligation to provide or accept work, and the other features of the relationship were not inconsistent with this, there was no contract of employment.

Pimlico plumber was a 'worker'

The Supreme Court has handed down its decision in the Pimlico Plumbers case which focussed specifically on the question of whether a plumber stated to be self-employed in his contract was in fact a worker. It unanimously upheld the decision of all the courts below that Mr Smith was indeed a worker.

Cycle courier was a 'worker'

The EAT reject an appeal by a courier company against a tribunal decision that one of its cycle couriers was a ‘worker’ entitled to paid holiday.

Continuing to work and affirmation of contractual changes

Employees who continued to work following their employer’s imposition of a pay freeze did not thereby agree to a variation of contract, despite the fact that their tribunal claim wasn’t begun until two years later.

Date when notice of termination is effective

Where a contract is silent on when notice takes effect, it is effective when it’s actually received by the employee and they have read it (or had a reasonable opportunity to do so).

Bonus didn't have to be paid during garden leave

There was no breach of contract where an employer refused to pay a minimum bonus during the employee’s period of garden leave. Against a background of declining revenues and the employee’s refusal to forgo his bonus, the decision to place him on garden leave was not irrational.

Unlawful deductions from wages in switch from weekly to monthly pay

Continuing to work and receive pay (and an employer loan) did not amount to acceptance of a unilaterally-imposed contractual variation.

Deliveroo couriers are self-employed

Riders for Deliveroo are not ‘workers’ but rather independent contractors according to a ruling by the Central Arbitration Committee.

Uber drivers are 'workers'

Drivers for Uber are ‘workers’ says the EAT. Dismissing Uber’s appeal, the EAT holds that the drivers worked for Uber as part of its business rather than there being any sort of agency relationship.

Exclusive jurisdiction clause was unenforceable

An exclusive jurisdiction clause in Ryanair cabin crew contracts, which stipulated that only the Irish courts had jurisdiction with regard to any claims made by Ryanair’s employees, was not enforceable.

Restructuring and impact on agreed flexible working pattern

An employer’s handling of a restructure which impacted upon an agreed flexible working pattern led to a successful constructive dismissal claim.

Plumber confirmed as 'worker'

Pimlico Plumbers v Smith

 

A plumber engaged by a London firm, Pimlico Plumbers and described as ‘self-employed’ was in fact a ‘worker’ says the Court of Appeal, upholding the original judgment of the employment tribunal.