Employment Law Classics – 15. United Bank Ltd v Akhtar

This case is about mobility clauses  – and the implied terms that limit their application. It’s a neat illustration of an employer thinking that because the contract says they can do something, they don’t have to worry about how they go about doing it!

Cases referred to:

United Bank Ltd v Akhtar [1989] IRLR 507

Woods v WM Car Services (Peterborough) Ltd [1981] IRLR 347

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Employment Law Classics – 14. W Brooks & Son v Skinner

In a special yuletide edition we talk about W Brooks & Son v Skinner [1984] IRLR 379. It’s not exactly a classic – but it is about dismissing someone who got drunk at a Christmas party – and in December we all know that employment law is mainly about Christmas parties.


Actually this is quite a nice case that has something to say about zero tolerance policies – which links in to the very recent case of Arnold Clark Automobiles Ltd v Spoor– so it’s not just gratuitous attempt to link employment law to Christmas.

But it is partly that.

Happy Christmas everyone.



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Employment Law Classics – 13. East Lindsay District Council v Daubney

In this episode we look at dismissal for long-term absence. The classic explanation of how a fair employer should approach the issue is East Lindsay District Council v Daubney  but the law has moved on a bit since then and we now have to think about disability discrimination as well as just reasonableness. How much of a difference does that make and is the Court of Appeal decision in O’Brien v Bolton St Catherine’s Academy the way forward, or should we look to City of York v Grosset?

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Employment Law Classics – 12. Abernathy v Mott, Hay and Henderson

After a summer break its back to 1974 to look at how we determine the reason for dismissal. Abernathy v Mott, Hay and Henderson tells us to look at what is going on in the mind of the employer – but can that principal help us look at whistleblowing dismissals? The recent decision in Beatt v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust says not.


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Employment Law Classics – 11. Williams v Compair Maxam Ltd

This episode looks  the classic redundancy selection case of Williams v Compair Maxam Ltd. With redundancies increasingly run as though they are recruitment exercises, how relevant is this 1982 EAT decision today? Well, things many not have changed as much as you think.

Also mentioned is the more recent case of Green v Barking & Dagenham

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Employment Law Classics – 10. Griggs v Duke Power Co

We cross the Atlantic in this episode for the case that invented the concept of indirect discrimination – Griggs v Duke Power This is the origin story of indirect discrimination – the case that was used as the basis for the definition  in the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Race Relations Act 1976. Has it stood the test of time? And how does the approach of the US Supreme Court compare with that of the UK Supreme Court in Essop v Home Office?



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Employment Law Classics – 9. James v Waltham Holy Cross UBC

Here is a case that you may think you’ve never heard of – but it contains the classic test of fairness when it comes to dismissing someone for poor performance or incompetence. Behind the legal principle, James v Waltham Holy Cross UBC is a strange tale of an employee whose grievance causes offence in high places.

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