Unfair dismissal references

Definition, remedies, freedom of association and the close shop

Definition of unfair dismissal.

ERA, s. 98.

SW, (obvious) relevant part of unfair dismissal chapter, is good; BH, ch. 7, but the casebook is a bit disappointing on unfair dismissal. The best way to study the subject is to look at the relatively few landmark cases, which establish important legal principle, rather than to look at a wide range of examples, which establish nothing.

Relationship between wrongful and unfair dismissal.

Treganowan (C.A.) v. Robert Knee & Co. Ltd. [1975] I.C.R. 405, [1976] I.R.L.R. 247; B.S.C. Sports & Social Club v. Morgan [1987] I.R.L.R. 391.

Prima facie fair reasons for dismissing.

ERA, s. 98(2).

Abernethy v. Mott Hay [1974] I.C.R. 323; Trust House Forte Leisure Ltd. v. Aquilar [1976] I.R.L.R. 251; Smith v. City of Glasgow City Council [1987] I.C.R. 796, [1987] I.R.L.R. 326; Boulton & Paul v. Arnold [1994] I.R.L.R. 532, noted (1995) 24 I.L.J. 166.

Does it justify dismissal?.

ERA, s. 98(4) - noting that the burden of proof was amended by Employment Act 1980, s. 6. Devis & Sons v. Atkins [1977] A.C. 931 (this is the most important single case on unfair dismissal - note that the principle is the opposite to that which applies to wrongful dismissals); West Midlands Co-op Soc. v. Tipton [1986] 1 A.C. 536, [1986] 2 W.L.R. 306, noted (1986) N.L.J. 580 and (1986) 15 I.L.J. 113.

The correct test.

Alidair v. Taylor [1978] I.C.R. 445, [1978] I.R.L.R. 82; Trust House Forte Leisure Ltd. v. Aquilar [1976] I.R.L.R. 251; B.L.(U.K.) Ltd. v. Swift [1981] I.R.L.R. 439; Iceland Frozen Foods v. Jones [1982] I.R.L.R. 439; Oakley v. The Labour Party [1988] I.R.L.R. 34.

Where procedural unfairness makes no difference.

Polkey v. A.E. Dalton Services Ltd. [1988] 1 A.C. 344, [1987] 3 All E.R. 974 (this is the second most important unfair dismissal case), overruling British Labour Pump v. Byrne [1979] I.C.R. 347; Duffy v. Yeomans, noted (1995) 24 I.L.J. 272.

Dishonesty cases.

Trust House Forte v. Aquilar [1976] I.R.L.R. 251; British Home Stores v. Burchell [1980] I.C.R. 303; W. Weddel & Co. v. Tepper [1980] I.C.R. 286 (C.A. approval for earlier case).

Monie v. Coral Racing Ltd. [1981] I.C.R. 109, [1981] I.R.L.R. 464; Whitbread & Co. v. Thomas [1988] I.C.R. 135, [1988] I.R.L.R. 43; Parr v. Whitbread [1990] I.C.R. 427; [1990] I.R.L.R. 39.

Redundancy cases.

Unfairness generally.

Bessenden Properties v. Corness [1974] I.R.L.R. 338; Williams v. Compair Maxam [1982] I.C.R. 156; [1982] I.R.L.R. 83.

Alternative employment.

Vokes v. Beer [1974] ICR 1; Modern Injection Moulds v. Price [1976] ICR 370; British United Shoe Manufacturing v. Clarke [1977] IRLR 297; Lucas v. Henry Johnson (Packers And Suppliers) Ltd. [1986] ICR 384; (1986) NLJ 845.

Reorganisation of business.

Murphy v. Epsom College [1985] I.C.R. 80, [1984] I.R.L.R. 271; Hollister v. N.F.U. [1979] I.C.R. 542, [1979] I.R.L.R. 238.

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Remedies for unfair dismissal.

SW, pp. 430ff (to end of chapter); ERA, ss. 112-125.

Reinstatement, re-engagement and additional compensation.

ERA, ss. 112-117; Donovan, Ch. IX,; 38 M.L.R. 292.

Bateman v. B.L. [1974] I.C.R. 403; Coleman v. Magnet Joinery [1975] I.C.R. 46; Langston v. A.U.E.W. (No.2) [1974] I.C.R. 510; Enessy Co. S.A. v. Minoprio [1978] I.R.L.R. 489; Conoco (U.K.) Ltd. v. Neal [1989] I.C.R. 114, [1989] I.R.L.R. 51; Timex Corporation v. Thomson [1981] I.R.L.R. 522; Port of London Authority v. Payne [1994] I.R.L.R. 9.

Compensation.

ERA, ss. 118-125.

Basic principle.

Norton Tool v. Tewson [1972] I.C.R. 501; [1973] 1 All E.R. 183 (this is still the leading authority).

No loss.

Earl v. Slater & Wheeler (Airlyne) Ltd. [1973] 1 W.L.R. 51, [1973] 1 All E.R. 145 is still good law; Lowndes v. Specialist Heavy Engineering Ltd. [1977] I.C.R. 1 and Clarkson International Tools v. Short [1973] I.C.R. 191 may not survive Polkey unscathed. See also British United Shoe Machinery Co. v. Clarke [1978] I.C.R. 70; Winterhalter Gastronom Ltd. v. Webb [1973] I.C.R. 245.

Immediate loss (to hearing).

Robert Normansell (Birmingham) Ltd. v. Barfield (1973) 8 I.T.R. 171. On credit for wages in lieu, ex gratia payments, etc., Babcock FATA Ltd. v. Addison [1987] 1 Q.B. 280, [1987] I.C.R. 805, [1987] 2 All E.R. 388, noted (1986) N.L.J. 845, and overruling Finnie v. Top Hat Frozen Foods [1985] I.R.L.R. 365; TBA Industrial Products Ltd. v. Locke [1984] I.R.L.R. 48.

Future loss.

Vaughan v. Weighpack [1974] I.C.R. 261 (compare Addis v. Gramophone Co., as interpreted by Malik v. B.C.C.I.); Everwear Candlewick Ltd. v. Isaac [1974] I.C.R. 525, [1974] 3 All E.R. 24; Cawthorn and Sinclair Ltd. v. Hedger [1974] I.C.R. 146; Copson v. Eversure Accessories [1974] I.C.R. 636 (pension rights). Loss of accrued redundancy rights were replaced by the basic award.

Contributory fault.

Maris v. Rotherham Corpn [1974] I.C.R. 435; Moncur v. International Paint [1978] I.R.L.R. 223; Nelson v. B.B.C. (No.2) [1979] I.R.L.R. 346; Finnie (above); Slaughter v. C. Brewer & Sons [1990] I.R.L.R. 426.

Relationship with wrongful dismissal.

O'Laoire v Jackel International Ltd [1991] ICR 718, [1991] IRLR 170 (CA).

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Freedom of association and the closed shop.

Unfair dismissal, refusal to engage, action short of dismissal

General textbook references.

SW 493-520. On independence, see SW, 40-43.

Unfair dismissal.

TULR(C)A 1992, ss.152ff.

Independence.

TULRCA 5-6.

On limb (a), see Blue Circle Staff Association v Certification Officer [1977] 1 WLR 239, [1977] 2 All ER 145 (EAT).

On limb (b), see Squibb UK Staff Association v Certification Officer [1979] 1 WLR 523, [1979] 2 All ER 452 (CA); Government Communications Staff Federation v. Certification Officer [1993] ICR 163, [1993] IRLR 260.

Trade union activities when?

City of Birmingham District Council v Beyer [1978] 1 All ER 910, 12 ITR 409, [1977] IRLR 211 (EAT), distinguished in Fitzpatrick v. British Railways Board [1992] ICR 221, [1991] IRLR 376 (CA).

Definition of activities.

Brennan v. Ellward (Lancs) Ltd [1976] IRLR 378 (EAT), applied in Dixon v. West Ella Developments Ltd. [1978] ICR 856, [1978] IRLR 151 (EAT).

Appropriate time.

Marley Tile Co v. Shaw [1980] ICR 72, [1980] IRLR 25 (CA).

Remedies.

TULRCA ss. 156-158; Artisan Press v. Srawley and Parker [1986] IRLR. 126, (1986) NLJ 579.

Refusal to engage.

TULRCA, ss. 137ff. Note Beyer reasoning unaffected. Note also remedy (s. 140) less good than for unfair dismissal.

Action short of dismissal.

TULRCA, ss. 146ff

Definitions - multi-union problem.

Compare IRA 5; P.O. v. U.P.W. [1974] I.R.L.R. 22.

N.C.B. v. Ridgway [1987] 3 All E.R. 582, overruled (but probably only on definition of action) in Associated Newspapers Ltd v Wilson [1995] 2 A.C. 454.

Remedies.

Brassington v. Cauldon Wholesale [1978] ICR 405 (EAT), overruled in Ridgway but Ridgway itself later overruled.

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These notes were last updated on 04 Jan 98.

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