Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Effective Date of Termination

[Thanks to Rosa Dickinson of St Philips Chambers for providing this case summary]

The EAT (Silber J) has handed down judgment in Wedgewood v Minstergate Hull Ltd., which is authority for the proposition that the effective date of termination is not altered simply because the employee is absolved of their duty to work.

As the claimant wished to leave earlier than his notice expired on 1st December 2008, the respondent wrote to him on 26th November 2008 stating: "you can be released today and will still be paid up to and including your notice period date of Monday 1st December 2008".

The claim form was issued on 28th February 2009. At first instance, the tribunal found that the claim was out of time as the letter of 26th November 2008 had brought the EDT forward to that date.

The EAT allowed the claimant's appeal. Although the case of Palfry v Transco [2004] IRLR 916 means the EDT can be altered by agreement, on the facts of this case, the letter dated 26th November 2008 did not constitute a variation as it referred to "your notice period date of 1st December 2008". Applying the case of Lees v Greaves [1974] 2 All ER 393, the mere fact of the claimant not being required to work was insufficient to effect a variation.

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