Thursday, 25 November 1999

Yet more EAT decisions...


The following decisions have been placed on the EAT website recently. The transcripts can be downloaded from

Balmorral Group v Glenn Athol Rae [Lord Johnston, 4.11.99]: Heat of the moment resignation - consideration of Kwik-Fit v Lineham - ambiguous conduct ought to have placed employer on notice that resignation might not have genuinely been intended - termination therefore properly classified as dismissal

Ben-Edigbe v Nuffield Hospital [HHJ Peter Clark, 21.10.99]: Application struck out for failure to comply with interlocutory orders and failure to attend a hearing. Lengthy consideration of costs against applicants represented by sub-standard employment consultants. This decision contains interesting "observations on the growth in representation by self-styled employment consultants" by the court - perhaps timely comment in view of the current government investigations into PI claims assessors.

Chequepoint (UK) Ltd v Turner [Lindsay J., 2.11.99]: Consideration of territorial jurisdiction under ERA 1996 and Brussels Convention. Tribunals must look at the reality - otherwise an unscrupulous employer can rely on a mobility clause to send an employee overseas the day before a dismissal, thereby escaping UK jurisdiction. The EAT also provided a lengthy analysis of apparent bias, due to comments by Chairman that the Respondent was 'well-known' to the employment tribunal.

United Distiller v Vintners v Moxham [Lord Johnston, 17.9.99]: The EAT held that where the employment tribunal finds that an employee is 70% contributorily at fault in the dismissal, "it is impossible to state, except in the most exceptional circumstances...that no reasonable employer would not have dismissed in those circumstances" - thus setting aside a finding that the dismissal did not fall within the range of reasonable responses. Note in this case there was no suggestion of the dismissal being unfair due to procedural irregularity - the only issue was whether dismissal was a reasonable response - thus the above quotation is not as startling as it might seem on first reading. This decision has also been overtaken by Haddon v van Den Bergh Foods.

Wilson v Ethicon Ltd. [Lord Johnston, 3.11.99]: Subsequent to the Haddon decision, Lord Johnston provides robust support for Haddon and remits a case back to the employment tribunal because it was not clear what test of 'reasonableness' it adopted.

Vent-Axia Ltd. v Wright [Lord Johnston, 13.9.99]: Re-affirms that the primary test when ordering disclosure of documents is whether disclosure is necessary for fairly disposing of the proceedings, not whether the document is confidential in nature.

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