Employment Unfair dismissal. The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that an employment tribunal had erred in concluding that, because its decision to cease to provide business development services had been driven by financial considerations and the need to reduce costs, there had been no redundancy situation and that the employee had been dismissed by reason of redundancy. On the facts there had been a redundancy situation and the employee had been fairly dismissed.
Redundancy Employer's duty to consult appropriate trade union. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in hearing an appeal regarding claims for protective awards following collective redundancies, ordered a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union in respect of preliminary issues that had arisen regarding the compatibility of s188 of the with Council Directive (EC) 98-59 (on the approximation of the laws of the member states relating to collective redundancies).
Practice Summary judgment. The claimant sought summary judgment against the defendants in respect of its claim for breach of their employment contracts and breach of fiduciary obligations. It also sought a declaration that the defences had been struck out as a result of a breach of an unless order made in the case. The Chancery Division, in refusing the applications, held that there were triable issues which should be determined at trial and that it was far from obvious from patent deficiencies in the disclosure list that it had been prepared in apparent but not real compliance with the obligation to give discovery.
Restraint of trade by agreement Employer and employee. The first defendant left the claimant recruitment company to work for the second defendant recruitment company. The Queen's Bench Division allowed the claimant's claim for damages arising from the breach of restrictive covenants contained in the first defendant's contract. The restrictions had, subject to severing one phrase from two of the restrictions, been legally enforceable, the first defendant had been in breach and the second defendant had procured those breaches.
Employment Redundancy. The Employment Appeal, in allowing the employee's appeal in a claim for age discrimination, held that a local authority had not been required by an enactment to discriminate between the employee and younger dismissed employees in respect of redundancy pay.
Employment Unfair Dismissal. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) dismissed the employee's appeal against the rejection of her unfair dismissal claim. The EAT decided that the employment tribunal had been entitled to find that there had been a redundancy situation, that the employee had been dismissed for redundancy and that the dismissal had been fair. Accordingly, the tribunal had been entitled to find that there had been adequate consultation and had given sufficient reasons for that finding.
Employment Duty of servant. The claimant former employer of the defendants issued proceedings alleging that they had breached a confidentially clause and restrictive covenants of their contracts. The Queen's Bench Division held that the defendants had breached their contracts by dealing with the claimant's clients, but that they had not used its client list. On that basis, an injunction and damages would be granted, as the defendants had conspired to injure the claimant.
Redundancy Calculation of amount of payment. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in circumstances where the parties had reached an agreement on the employer's appeal, dismissed the employee's cross-appeal that sought to stablish that, because the employer had erroneously paid former employees an enhanced payment in a redundancy package that was over and above the statutory requirements in previous redundancy situations, it had been obliged to pay the employee that payment in his package.
Restraint of trade by agreement Employer and employee. Mr Coppage had been employed as a director by the claimant company. When he resigned, he became involved in a new company which took on customers of his former employer. The claimant commenced proceedings alleging breach of the non-solicitation clause in Mr Coppage's employment contract and breach of fiduciary duty. The claimant succeeded at first instance. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed Mr Coppage's appeal, finding that the judge had not erred in finding the non-solicitation clause to be a reasonable one and in ordering the quantum of damages that he had.
Company Director. The claimants alleged that the first defendant, the former director of the first claimant company, had acted in breach of his duties as director of the company and in breach of his obligations under his employment contract, including by taking advantage of lucrative business opportunities which had come his way during his work for the company. The Chancery Division held that the defendant had committed breaches of his obligations under his written contract of employment with the company and of his fiduciary duties as a director of the company. It was settled law that the mere fact that activities were described by an employee as 'preparatory' to competition did not mean that they were legitimate. It was a breach of the duty of fidelity for an employee to recruit or solicit another employee to act in competition.