Contracts of employment

Payment in lieu of notice and discovery of post-termination misconduct

An employer cannot withhold a payment in lieu of notice if it dismisses an employee under an express term in his contract which provides for summary termination with pay in lieu, but later discovers that the employee had committed gross misconduct before the dismissal.
Cavenagh v William Evans Ltd

Employees not entitled to overtime for working their breaks

If an employee works overtime without being asked to, because otherwise there wouldn’t be enough time to complete his or her required work, is he or she entitled to an overtime payment? No - a requirement to work overtime cannot arise merely because an employee is asked to do more work than can be accomplished within his or her normal working day.

Blair v Hotel Solutions London Ltd

Employee or self-employed? The scales tip against Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers has been left with a hefty tax bill running into millions after the Upper Tax Tribunal upheld an earlier ruling that group leaders who took their classes were ‘employees’ for tax purposes and not self-employed contractors.
Weight Watchers v HMRC

Back-to-back fixed-term contracts and justification

Employing someone on successive fixed-term contracts continually to cover for various other staff taking family leave did not, in itself, breach EU law on fixed-term work, even though this cover continued for many years. A temporary need to replace permanent staff can amount to an objective reason justifying the use of such successive fixed-term contracts but that is up to the national courts to decide.
Kücük v Land Nordrhein-Westfalen

Sponsorship contract was not a contract of employment

A university sponsorship contract was not a contract of employment. A former apprentice who’d been sponsored by a company to do a degree had not been ‘dismissed’ when the company decided not to employ him when he withdrew from his course.
GE Caledonian Ltd v McCandliss

Notice ‘with immediate effect’ and the effective date of termination

An employee’s resignation ‘with immediate effect’ meant what it said. Unless there was something to suggest that a ‘cooling off’ period was required and that the employee never actually intended to resign, nothing either party subsequently does can alter what in law was her effective date of termination.
Little v Richmond Pharmacology Ltd

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