Restraint of trade by agreement Employer and employee. The claimant sought to invoke a restrictive covenant in the defendant's employment contract following the defendant's resignation to work for another company. The judge, in considering the restrictive covenant had added correcting words and granted the claimant an injunction. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, discharged the injunction and held that the wording of the restrictive covenant had been clear and had not required additional words to be read in by the judge.
Restraint of trade by agreement Employer and employee. The claimant company provided care services. It allowed the defendants to operate a franchise, which became successful. A dispute arose, following the defendants operating a separate company with overlapping functions to the franchise. The Chancery Division held that there had been no repudiatory breach on the part of the claimants, and that four covenants, which the claimant alleged that the defendants had breached, were valid and enforceable.
Employment 'Worker'. The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal against a finding of the employment tribunal that the claimant had been an employee of an insolvent company, for which she had been the sole-owner, prior to it becoming insolvent and therefore entitled to a redundancy payment pursuant to of the Employment Rights Act 1996. The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that, despite the claimant not having enforced her contractual right to the payment of a salary in the two years prior to insolvency, the tribunal had been entitled, on the facts, to find that the claimant had been an employee at the material time.
Redundancy Payment. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (the EAT) dismissed the appeal by Peacock Stores (Peacock) against a decision of the employment tribunal which had rejected Peacock's argument that the employees concerned had not been entitled to enhanced redundancy payments (on statutory terms, without a cap). The EAT decided that the tribunal had correctly determined that based on Peacock's consistent past practice of making redundancy payments based on statutory terms but without a cap on either years of service or the amount of a weekly wage, a contractual term to that effect could be inferred.
Unfair dismissal Determination whether dismissal fair or unfair. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (the EAT) dismissed the employer local authority's appeal against the employment tribunal's finding that its redundancy dismissals in respect of the employees had been unfair. The EAT decided that there had been no procedural unfairness or impermissible substitution of view as alleged by the authority.
Redundancy Dismissal by way of redundancy. The employee had been dismissed ostensibly for redundancy. The employer appealed against the finding by the employment tribunal that the employee had been unfairly dismissed, contending that the tribunal had applied the wrong test in determining the reason for the employee's dismissal. The Employment Appeal Tribunal, in allowing the employer's appeal, ruled that, on the facts found, the dismissal had been for redundancy. Accordingly, the tribunal had applied the wrong test and the case was remitted to the same tribunal to consider the provisions of of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
Unfair dismissal Determination whether dismissal fair or unfair. The employment tribunal (the tribunal) upheld the employee's claims for unfair dismissal and age discrimination, deciding that the loss of the employee's post and her dismissal in consequence was not by reason of redundancy, but a dismissal for some other substantial reason (SOSR). The tribunal decided that the employee had been discriminated against on the grounds of her age by the appointment of a younger person to one of the new posts in the restructured organisation, and held that she had been unfairly dismissed. The Employment Appeal Tribunal reversed the tribunal's decision, taking the view that although the tribunal had been entitled to conclude that the dismissal had been for SOSR, it had been wrong to conclude on the evidence that it had been age discrimination. The assessment of the fairness of the dismissal had been flawed, but that issue would be remitted to a tribunal for determination.
Employment Unfair dismissal. The employees brought claims of unfair dismissal before the employment tribunal (the tribunal). The tribunal found that those claims were well founded and awarded compensation of 51,999.30 to the first employee and 9,031.04 to the second employee. The employer appealed against the decision on quantum. Allowing the appeal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal found that in the instant case the tribunal had considered what it would have seen as the correct outcome, and so had wrongly substituted its view for that of the employer.
Practice Post-trial or pre-judgment relief. In the course of claims for equitable compensation or damages for breach of duty or dishonest assistance against its former employees (the first and second defendant), the claimant was granted non-compete and confidentiality injunctions. The Chancery Division continued the injunctions against the first defendant, but discharged the confidentiality injunction against the second defendant where there was no evidence that he had breached confidentiality whilst employed with the claimant and where he did not have access to the claimant's confidential information.
Confidential information Injunction against disclosure of information. The claimants were granted injunctions, restraining the defendants using their confidential information. The defendants appealed on the basis that the parties' confidentiality agreement did not continue once a subcontract had been entered and that damages were an adequate remedy. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the appeal, held that the judge had correctly found that the confidentiality agreement continued after the subcontract and that the relief granted had been a matter within the discretion of the judge with which the court would not interfere.