Contracts of employment

Employer could not rely on express summary termination clause

An employer's attempt to categorise a minor breach of security rules as conduct justifying a summary dismissal failed.
Robert Bates Wrekin Landscapes Ltd v Knight
 

The straw that broke the employer’s back

The so-called ‘last straw’ doctrine’ applies to employers, as much as it does to employees. In appropriate circumstances they can rely on an employee’s repudiatory behaviour as the basis for bringing employment to an end.
Kearns v Glencore UK Ltd
 

Varying contracts: don’t do one thing and say another

A manager’s misrepresentation effectively negated the effect of an unambiguous contractual buy out of an employee’s entitlement to a pay protection scheme, resulting in the employee succeeding in an unlawful deduction from wages claim.
Royal Mail Group Ltd v Aldous
 

Mistaken belief creates implied term

The practice of paying employees at least RPI wage increases could crystallise into a contractual term, even if the practice had been based on a mistaken belief by the employer that the employees had secured a contractual right to those increases at an earlier time.
CSC Computer Sciences Ltd v McAlinden
 

Repayment of expenses clause was a genuine pre-estimate of loss

A clause providing for repayment of expenses incurred, some of which were incurred before the employee started work, was a lawful and genuine pre-estimate of loss and not a penalty clause.
Cleeve Link Ltd v Bryla
 

Zero hours: contract must explicitly state

Where an employee’s written contract didn’t specify a minimum number of hours but instead stated that ‘Your working hours will be as specified by your line manager’, it was not a zero hours contract. To be so the contract would specifically have had to state that this was the case.
Borrer v Cardinal Security Ltd
 


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