Contracts of employment

Termination under a PILON clause was not effected by a payment into the employee’s bank account

An employee’s contract continued until the date he received his employer’s unequivocal notice that it was exercising its contractual right summarily to terminate his employment by making a payment in lieu of notice. Making the payment in lieu was not sufficient, by itself, to bring the contact to an end. And the Supreme Court has resolved a long-standing issue on repudiatory breaches – whether they automatically bring the contract to an end or whether acceptance is needed before this can happen.
Société Générale, London Branch v Geys
 

Beware pre-contract promises

An oral assurance given during pre-contract discussions overrode subsequent, express written terms. It was a collateral warranty, the effect of which was to prevent the recovery of a significant up-front payment made by the employer.
Thinc Group v Armstrong
 

Employer bound by mistaken pay offer

In a reminder to be careful what you promise, a tribunal held that an employee’s contractual rate of pay was that which was detailed in the written offer of employment (higher) rather than that which had been offered over the telephone (lower).
The Partners of Haxby Practice v Collen
 

Demoting employee for Facebook posting was breach of contract

An employee who was demoted and had his pay cut because of comments he posted on Facebook about civil partnerships in churches won his breach of contract claim but ended up with less than £100 in damages. 
Smith v Trafford Housing Trust
 

Dismissing long-term sick employee still entitled to PHI benefits

Only in very exceptional cases will a tribunal imply a term into a contract of employment that the employer will not dismiss an employee if that deprives him of a permanent health insurance (PHI) entitlement – and even if such a term was to be implied it would only extend to cover dismissal without reasonable and proper cause. 
Lloyd v BCQ Ltd
 

Fixed-term contracts: training exclusion

Time worked under a training scheme does not count towards the four years a fixed-term employee needs to become permanent.
Hudson v DWP
 


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