Kimti v Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Authority

Redundancy Dismissal by reason of redundancy. The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) considered an employee's appeal against the finding of the employment tribunal that she had not been unfairly dismissed, and that her dismissal had not been the result of racial discrimination. The EAT held, in dismissing the appeal, that the tribunal had not erred in law, and that it had been entitled to conclude that the dismissal had not been unfair.

White Digital Media Ltd v Weaver and another

Injunction Interlocutory. The claimant was the publisher of an online magazine that was funded through paid advertisements. The first defendant was an employee of the claimant who purchased a competing business. The claimant purported to rely on restrictive covenants imposed upon the first defendant and also claimed that the defendants should be restrained from using confidential information that had been obtained by the first defendant whilst employed by the claimant. The Queen's Bench Division refused to grant interim injunctions in the claimant's favour because: (i) the restrictive covenants were unenforceable, and (ii) the information which was claimed to be confidential had not been sufficiently identified.

*Mehjoo v Harben Barker (a firm) and another company

Accountant Negligence. The claimant sought damages against his accountants for failing to advise him of steps to eliminate or reduce his liability for capital gains tax. The Queen's Bench Division, in allowing his claim, held that the defendants had breached their contractual and tortious duties to advise the claimant to obtain specialist tax advice.

Woodhouse v West North West Homes Leeds Ltd

Unfair dismissal Victimisation. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (the EAT) allowed the employee's appeal in respect of claims for unfair dismissal and victimisation. While the employment tribunal had found the dismissal unfair they had made a Polkey deduction of 90 %. The EAT held that the only proper conclusion was that the employee had been victimised by his suspension and dismissal and that finding would be substituted for the finding of the tribunal. Accordingly, the EAT further held that the 'Polkey' reduction had become unsustainable.

Graham v Aramark Ltd

Unfair dismissal Compensation. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (the EAT) dismissed the employer's appeal against an award for future loss and a costs award made against it in circumstances where the employment tribunal had found in favour of the employee on the issue of constructive dismissal. The EAT decided that there had been no error of law on the part of the tribunal in its decision in respect of those two awards.

*Usdaw v Ethel Austin Ltd (in administration); Usdaw and another v Unite the Union and others

Redundancy Award. The proceedings concerned appeals by the claimants in two sets of proceedings and related to breach of the duty to consult over mass redundancies by two businesses which were insolvent at the time of the proceedings. The Employment Tribunals concluded that the claimants' claims for breach of the duty to consult over redundancy would succeed and made protective awards for failure to consult in advance of redundancies. However, those made redundant in establishments where fewer than 20 workers had been dismissed were excluded (the exclusion conclusion). The claimants appealed against the exclusion conclusion. In allowing the appeal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, taking into consideration s188 of the and article 1 of Council Directive (EC) 98-59 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to collective redundancies, held that the question was whether s188 of the Act could be construed in the light of the directive to exclude the words 'at one establishment' or to add the words 'at one or more establishments', or whether such a construction would go against the grain of the legislation. Applying settled principles, the court was entitled to construe s188 of the Act so that it complied with the obligation under the directive. The words 'at one establishment' ought to be deleted from s188 of the Act as a matter of construction pursuant to the court's obligations to apply the directive's purpose.

*Vestergaard Frandsen A/S and others v Bestnet Europe Limited and others

Employment Duty of servant. The Supreme Court, in dismissing the claimant companies' appeal, held that a former employee could not be liable for breach of confidence in circumstances where she had not ever acquired the confidential information in question, whether during the time of her employment or afterwards, and had been unaware that the relevant product had been developed using the companies' trade secrets.

Engel v Joint Committee for Parking and Traffic Regulation Outside London (PATROL)

Employment Protected disclosure. The Employment Appeal Tribunal dismissed the appeal of the employee, a fee paid parking adjudicator, and held that the employment tribunal had not erred in finding that the decision not to allocate further personal or postal cases to the employee had been a decision taken in the exercise of judicial functions and did not amount to subjecting the employee to a detriment for the purposes of of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Ward v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Unfair dismissal Calculation of award. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (the EAT) dismissed the employee's appeal in respect of a claim of disability related discrimination and unfair dismissal against his employer brought before the employment tribunal (the tribunal). The tribunal had upheld one claim of a failure to make reasonable adjustments but had dismissed the employee's other claims.

*UK Uncut Legal Action Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners

Tax Avoidance. The claimant company campaigned against the harmful effects of tax avoidance and the use of tax havens. It issued proceedings against the Revenue and Customs Commissioners for entering an agreement with two Goldman Sachs companies, allowing them to avoid paying interest on unpaid National Insurance contributions. The Administrative Court held that the Revenue had not failed to apply its policy or breached the principle of equality. Although one commissioner had considered an irrelevant consideration, the decision would have been the same in any event.