Employment Law – Case Developments in February

Seldon v Clarkson, Wright & Jakes

The Supreme Court have granted permission for an appeal to be brought against the Court of Appeal’s decision in this case, in which it was held that a retirement age of 65 for partners of a law firm was not discriminatory as it could be objectively justified.  We will provide a further update when the appeal has been heard.


The EAT held in OTG Ltd v Barke and others that the TUPE Regulations will apply to sales by administrators (even in a pre-pack administrations), meaning that all employees will transfer to the buyer and have special protection against unfair dismissal.

Unfair Dismissal

In Orr v Milton Keynes Council, it was held that an employer cannot be held to know all facts known to its employees when making a decision to dismiss.  It is only the decision maker whose knowledge or state of mind is relevant, provided that a fair and thorough investigation has been undertaken.

Apprenticeship v Contract of Service

In an EAT decision, an employee who received on the job training and attended college on day release was held to be employed under a contract of apprenticeship and not a contract of service, despite the fact that the parties had not used the word ‘apprenticeship’ in any contractual documents.  The relationship between the parties in Chassis & Cab Specialists Ltd v Lee had the purpose of providing the worker with training, and had the essential characteristics of apprenticeship.

Theft by employees

An employee who was cautioned by the police after he admitted stealing £845 from his employer has been awarded £13,000 by the Court, who ordered his former employer to pay this sum by way of damages for humiliation, after his employer marched him to the police station upon discovering the theft with a sign around his neck which read, “Thief.  I stole £845.  Am on my way to police station”.

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