The High Court has granted an injunction against Tesco preventing the dismissal and re-engagement (‘fire and rehire’) of employees in an attempt to remove a contractual entitlement to enhanced payment terms.
The High Court has granted an injunction against Tesco preventing the dismissal and re-engagement (‘fire and rehire’) of employees in an attempt to remove a contractual entitlement to enhanced payment terms (“Retained Pay”).
Tesco agreed the payment of Retained Pay in 2007-2009 as an incentive for employees working in its distribution centres, encouraging them to relocate in order that Tesco could avoid mass redundancy during a reorganisation. The Retained Pay was stated to be ‘permanent’ for as long as the employees remained in their current role. In January 2021, Tesco announced an intention to remove Retained Pay and offered employees an advanced lump sum payment of 18 months’ Retained Pay in return for forfeiting their entitlement. Employees who did not agree would be dismissed and re-engaged on terms without Retained Pay.
USDAW made an application to the High Court seeking a declaration that the affected employees’ contracts included an implied term preventing dismissal and re-engagement, along with an injunction.
The Court determined that, taking into account the context and intention of the parties at the time the Retained Pay was agreed, a reasonable person would interpret the use of ‘permanent’ to mean for as long as the employee remained employed by Tesco in the same substantive role. As a result, on the facts of this specific case (which the court accepted are “extreme”), a term should be implied in the employees’ contracts, constraining the right of Tesco to dismiss and re-engage to remove or reduce the employees’ rights to Retained Pay. The Court also ordered an injunction preventing Tesco from terminating affected employees’ contract contrary to this implied term.
The specific and unusual facts of this case make it an exception and it remains very rare for implied terms to restrict an employer’s ability to terminate a contract in accordance with its terms or for injunctions to be used to prevent the termination of an employee’s contract. However, employers are more frequently turning to dismissal and re-engagement to implement changes in employees’ terms and conditions. Employers should therefore ensure they carefully consider any agreements they reach which provide enhanced pay or other benefits to employees to avoid over-commitment or long term consequences which may make removal of such benefits more difficult.
Official statistics show that 15,336 claims which included a complaint of age discrimination were received at the Employment Tribunals between March 2020 and March 2021.
The outcome of the Employment Tribunal claim brought by Gulnaz Raja against Starling Bank Limited (1) (Starling), and Matthew Newman (2) was reported last month.
In the Autumn Statement delivered on 17 November, rises to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates were announced, to take effect from 1 April 2023.
The World Cup kicks off in Qatar on Sunday 20 November 2022, with the final taking place on Sunday 18 December 2022. Undoubtedly, this is a huge sporting event, and many employees will be keen to show their support for their favourite teams. However, due to the time difference, start times for the matches are between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. UK time, which could have an impact on employers if employees who wish to watch the matches are scheduled to work.
Settlement agreements are commonplace in an employment context and are ordinarily used to provide the parties to the agreement with certainty following the conclusion of an employment relationship.
National law firm Browne Jacobson has advised long standing retail client, Wilko on the sale and leaseback of its Nottinghamshire distribution centre in Worksop to logistics specialist DHL for £48m.
Law firm Browne Jacobson is pleased to announce that Suzanne Harlow has been appointed Non-Executive Director of its Retail, Consumer & Logistics sector.
Earlier in the year a number of fashion retailers, boldly announced the introduction of a charging fee for returning any product purchased via their online store. Yet, despite this commercial, and perhaps somewhat controversial decision, at least one major fashion giant that adopted this approach has recorded ‘historic highs’ in its September profits. Browne Jacobson partner, Cat Driscoll who heads up the firm’s commercial team in Manchester and is also head of its Fashion & Beauty sector discusses whether this change has put the average consumer off and whether the days of free returns are long gone.
This article is the second in a series to help firms take a practical approach to complying with the ‘cross-cutting rules’ within the new ‘Consumer Duty’ (CD) framework. The article summarises what it seems the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking to achieve from the applicable rules (section 2 below) and potential complications arising from legal considerations (section 3).
Where an employee appeals against their dismissal under a contractual appeal procedure and their appeal is successful, reinstatement to their previous role is automatic and does not require approval or agreement from the employee.
Settlement agreements in an employment context are ordinarily used to provide both parties with certainty following the conclusion of an employment relationship – but what happens when there is alleged discrimination after entering into a settlement agreement?
The fashion industry has a mountain to climb when it comes to sustainability. More than 8% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the apparel and footwear industries, and approaching three-fifths of all clothing ends up in incinerators or landfill within a year of being made.
Created at the end of the Brexit transition period, Retained EU Law is a category of domestic law that consists of EU-derived legislation retained in our domestic legal framework by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This was never intended to be a permanent arrangement as parliament promised to deal with retained EU law through the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (the “Bill”).
A few weeks ago we brought you news that following the Government’s mini-budget it was confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (known as “IR35”) put in place for public and private sector businesses from 2017 and 2021 would be scrapped from April 2023.
In Mogane v Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered whether it was fair to dismiss a nurse as redundant on the basis that that her fixed-term contract was due to expire before that of her colleague.
The majority of people do not feel the need to embellish their CV to get that coveted position and move on up the career ladder. Their worthiness and benefit to the hiring organisation are easily demonstrated through the recruitment process – application, psychometric testing, selection day or interview.
In July 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited Judgement in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel relating to the correct calculation of statutory holiday pay for part year workers. This decision has implications for all part year workers on contracts which subsist all year round, whether their hours are normal or irregular.
The Government has announced a change to the categorisation of “small” businesses to reduce the amount of regulatory compliance (or “red tape”) required. Currently, SMEs (those with fewer than 250 employees) are exempt from certain regulations – such as the obligation to comply with gender pay reporting. With effect from 3 October, these exemptions will be widened to apply to businesses with fewer than 500 employees.