Employment - 1960- 1969

Employment Law. All matters relating to contracts between individuals and trade unions and employers, and procedural issues in the Industrial Tribunals system. See also Sex Discrimination and Race Relations Law, Health and Safety, and European Law.

These cases are extracted from a very large database. The entries on that database are now being published individually to the main swarb.co.uk website in a much improved form. As cases are published here, the entry here will be replaced by a link to the same case in that improved form on swarb.co.uk. In addition the swarb.co.uk site includes very substantial numbers of cases after 2000. Please take the time to look.  

This page lists 30 cases, and was prepared on 19 May 2014. These case are being transferred one by one to the main swarb.co.uk site which presents them better, with links to full text where we have it, and much improved cross referencing.
Lee -v- Lee’s Air Farming Limited [1960] 3 All ER 420
Commonwealth, Company, Employment

Mr Lee had formed a company, Lee's Air Farming Limited and held nearly all its shares. He was the managing director, but by profession a pilot. The company was formed to conduct an aerial top-dressing business. He appointed himself the chief pilot for the company. In the Court of Appeal of New Zealand, North J said: "These powers were moreover delegated to him for life and there remained with the company no power of management whatsoever. One of his first acts was to appoint himself the only pilot of the company, for, although article 33 foreshadowed this appointment, yet a contract could only spring into existence after the company had been incorporated. Therefore, he became in effect both employer and worker. True, the contract of employment was between himself and the company: see Booth v Helliwell, but on him lay the duty both of giving orders and obeying them. In our view, the two offices are clearly incompatible. There could exist no power of control and therefore the relationship of master-servant was not created." Held: Appeal allowed. "one person may function in dual capacities. " and "Ex facie there was a contract of service. . . . the real issue is whether the position of the deceased as sole governing director made it impossible for him to be the servant of the company in the capacity of chief pilot of the company. . . there was no such impossibility. There appears to be no greater difficulty in holding that a man acting in one capacity can give orders to himself in another capacity than there is in holding that a man acting in one capacity can make a contract with himself in another capacity. The company and the deceased were separate legal entities. The company had the right to decide what contracts for aerial top-dressing it would enter into. The deceased was the agent of the company in making the necessary decisions."
Beetham -v- Trinidad Cement Ltd [1960] AC 132

Employment Casemap

The court considered what was a trade dispute.
Annamunthodo -v- Oilfields Workers' Trade Union [1961] AC 945
Lord Denning
The plaintiff complained that he had been wrongly expelled by the general council of his union. The union replied that any defect had been cured by his expulsion being confirmed by the Union's Annual Conference. Held: The decision of the General Council of the Trade Union was vitiated because it convicted the appellant of an offence against the rules with which he had never been charged, and it was declared that the purported expulsion of the Appellant was invalid and should be set aside. Lord Denning: "If a domestic tribunal fails to act in accordance with natural justice, the person affected by their decision can always seek redress in the courts. It is a prejudice to any man to be denied justice. He will not, of course, be entitled to damages if he suffered none. But he can always ask for the decision against him to be set aside."
Parsons -v- BNM Laboratories Ltd [1963] 2 All ER 658; [1964] 1 QB 95; [1963] 2 WLR 1273
Sellers LJ, Harman LJ, Pearson LJ
Damages, Employment Casemap
1 Citers
Unemployment benefit was deductible from damages for wrongful dismissal. The benefit was not "purely personal", the employer had made a contribution, and the plaintif had a duty to mitigate his loss (Sellers LJ). The benefit was not "truly analogous" to insurance moneys" (Harman LJ). It was not too remote a consequence of the wrongdoing and was payable as a matter of general right rather than by virtue of a private insurance policy (Pearson LJ).
Amalgamated Engineering Union -v- Minister of Pensions and National Insurance; QBD 1963
Ridge -v- Baldwin (No 1); HL 1964
Commercial Plastics Ltd -v- Vincent; CA 1964
Printers and Finishers Limited -v- Holloway; 1965
Gledhow Autoparts Ltd -v- Delaney; CA 1965
Morren -v- Swinton and Pendlebury Borough Council [1965] 1 WLR 576

Employment Casemap
1 Citers
The court was asked whether the plaintiff had been an employee. Held: 'once the primary facts are found, then it is a pure question of law as to what is the reasonable inference based on the legal interpretation of the contract.'
J T Stratford & Son Ltd -v- Lindley; HL 1965
Veness -v- Dyson Bell & Co; 25-May-1965
Loudon -v- Crimpy Crisps Ltd; 1966
O'Reilly -v- National Rail & Tramway Appliances [1966] 1 All ER 499

Morton Sundour Fabrics -v- Shaw; QBD 1966
Lavarack -v- Woods of Colchester Ltd [1966] 3 All ER 683; [1967] 1 QB 278; 1 KIR 312; [1966] 3 WLR 706; [1966] EWCA Civ 4
19 Jul 1966
Lord Denning MR, Diplock LJ, Russell LJ
Employment, Contract, Damages Casemap
1 Citers
When looking at the damages to be awarded on a breach of contract by an employer, "the first task is to estimate . . what the Plaintiff would have gained . . if the defendant had fulfilled his legal obligation and had done no more."
Link[s] omitted
Lavarack -v- Woods of Colchester Ltd [1967] 1 QB 278; [1966] EWCA Civ 4; [1966] 3 All ER 683; [1966] 1 KIR 312; [1966] 3 WLR 706
Diplock LJ, Lord Denning MR, Russell LJ
Damages, Employment, Contract Casemap
1 Cites

Damages for wrongful dismissal could not confer on an employee extra benefits that the contract did not oblige the employer to confer. There is a clear distinction between expectations, however reasonable, and contractual obligations.
Diplock LJ said: "the first task of the assessor of damages is to estimate as best he can what the plaintiff would have gained in money or money's worth if the defendant had fulfilled his legal obligations and had done no more. Where there is an anticipatory breach by wrongful repudiation, this can at best be an estimate, whatever the date of the hearing. It involves assuming that what has not occurred and never will occur has occurred or will occur, ie that the defendant has since the breach performed his legal obligations under the contract and, if the estimate is made before the contract would otherwise have come to an end, that he will continue to perform his legal obligations thereunder until the due date of its termination. But the assumption to be made is that the defendant has performed or will perform his legal obligations under his contract with the plaintiff and nothing more."
[ Bailii ]
Morgan -v- Fry [1967] 2 All ER 386
Widgery J
Employment, Torts - Other
1 Citers
Four trades union members, including the plaintiff formed a breakaway association, being discontented with a wage settlement agreed by the union. A union representative informed the employer that his members would not work alongside them. The employer dismissed the plaintiff, who sued the union alleging conspiracy and intimidation.
Sanders -v- Parry [1967] 1 WLR 753

Havers J
Legal Professions, Employment
1 Citers
An assistant employed by a sole practitioner undertook as part of his duties work brought in by an important client. The client having said that if he left to set up on his own account he would transfer his business, the assistant handed in his notice and did so. And the client did follow him. The sole practitioner sued for breach of the implied terms of the contract of employment that the assistant would serve him with good faith and fidelity. The defence was that it was the client who had initiated the arrangement. Held. It did not matter. Even were it to be so, the assistant having accepted the client's offer whilst he was still employed by another and not having informed his employer of the offer was in breach.
Havers J said: "Now in my view there was a duty on the defendant at all times during the substance of the (employment) agreement to protect his master's interests, especially to do his best to retain Mr Tully as a client for his master .... I am satisfied that in accepting the offer, by such conduct the defendant was guilty of breach of duty in regard to the agreement implied therein by law that the defendant would serve the plaintiff with good faith and fidelity." and "In my view it was the duty of the defendant to have reported this dissatisfaction of the secretary to his principal to give him an opportunity, as far as he could, to satisfy her. Instead of forwarding his principal's interests he was concerned only in promoting his own. He made this alternative offer to Mrs Stanford which she accepted and the result of it and the result of that alone was that she left Mr Sanders and joined the defendant. That was in my view a breach of contract"
Sinclair -v- Neighbour; CA 1967
Landesversicherungsanstalt Rheinland-Pfalz -v- Joseph Welchner; ECJ 05-Dec-1967
Morgan -v- Fry [1968] All ER 3 452
Employment, Torts - Other Casemap
1 Cites
1 Citers
Ready Mixed Concrete Southeast Ltd -v- Minister of Pensions and National Insurance; 1968
Watts -v- Monmouthshire County Council and Another [1968] 66 LGR 171

Browne J
Education, Employment
1 Citers
The Plaintiff, a teacher had had a number of accidents at school and applied for and was granted a short service gratuity from the Ministry of Education being agreed to be permanently incapable of serving efficiently as a teacher of the appropriate kind. The employer did not give him any notice of dismissal. Held: Under the regulations he had been entitled to three months' notice. The teacher sued for damages, including damages in that he had not been given pay for the period of notice that would have been applicable had notice of dismissal been given. "Having regard to the correspondence, I now come to the question of whether there was frustration of this contract. It is quite clear, in my view, that the mere inability of the Plaintiff to perform his duties by reason of illness or accident does not in itself amount to frustration of the contract. The regulations regarding tenure clearly contemplate that, even if the teacher does become ill or suffers an accident, the contract shall continue in existence in spite of that. But as a matter of common sense it seems to me that an application for and acceptance by the plaintiff of a gratuity on the basis that he had become permanently incapable of serving efficiently as a teacher is wholly inconsistent with the continued existence of a contract by the County Council to employ him as a teacher and by him to serve the County Council as a teacher." After drawing attention to the Act, "I consider that it is plain that the whole basis of this gratuity is that the teacher has become permanently incapable of serving efficiently as a teacher. In my judgment, it is impossible for the plaintiff at the same time to accept a gratuity on the basis that he is permanently incapable of serving as a teacher and also to continue to serve as such. Having accepted this gratuity, the plaintiff was not, in my view, eligible to return to the service of the County Council. In my view the foundation of the contract was destroyed when the plaintiff accepted the gratuity and the contract then came to an end by frustration. If there is frustration, there is no need for either party to give any notice terminating the date of it. The determination is automatic."
Teachers' (Superannuation) Act 1925
Vaux & Associated Breweries Ltd -v- Ward [1968] 3 ITR 385

1 Citers
Definition of the phrase "work of a particular kind".
Dutton -v- C H Bailey Ltd; QBD 1968
Market Investigations -v- Minister of Social Security; 1969
John -v- Rees and Others; Martin and Another -v- Davis and Others; ChD 1969
Lloyd v Brassey [1969] 2 WLR 310; [1969] 1 All ER 382; [1969] 2 QB 98
Lord Denning MR, Salmon LJ
Employment Casemap

A farm was sold as a going concern with land and all stock-in-trade. Held. This was a "transfer of a trade, business, or undertaking." It was the same business being carried on both before and after the transfer. The same staff were employed. Lord Denning MR considerd the nature of a redundancy payment: "As I read the Act, a worker of long standing is now recognised as having an accrued right in his job ; and his right gains in value with the years. So much so that if the job is shut down, he is entitled to compensation for loss of the job - just as a Director gets compensation for loss of office. The director gets a golden handshake. The worker gets a redundancy payment. It is not unemployment pay. I repeat 'not'. Even if he gets another job straightaway, he nevertheless is entitled to full redundancy payment. It is, in a real sense, compensation for long service."
Salmon LJ said: "Of the many factors to be taken into account in considering whether or not a change in the ownership of a business has occurred, none by itself nor a combination of any of them together is necessarily conclusive. Everything depends on a broad view of all the circumstances of each particular case. In this case, having come to the conclusion that there was ample evidence to support the tribunal's finding, I would allow the appeal."
Fitzgerald -v- Hall Russell & Co Ltd [1969] UKHL 7; [1970] AC 984; [1969] 3 WLR 868; [1969] 3 All ER 1140
21 Oct 1969
Lord Reid, Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest, Lord Guest, Lord Upjohn, Lord Wilberforce
The House considered whether a series of short employment contracts amounted to one continuing one. Held. In deciding whether in the case of employment under a series of short contracts the intervals between the contracts amount to temporary cessation of work, one must look back from the date of termination of the employment over the whole period during which the employee has been employed.
Lord Upjohn explained that one should look at the cessations of work with hindsight, that is with knowledge of all that has happened, and then decide whether in all the circumstances of the case the cessations can properly be described as temporary. He said that each case must depend upon its own particular circumstances and that common sense must provide the answer.
Lord Morris said that one can take account of what the parties expected at the relevant time: "If in reference to the time when a cessation of work begins there is evidence showing that both the employer and the employee expected and anticipated that the cessation would only be for a relatively short time, that would be very relevant evidence in considering at a later time whether there had been a temporary cessation of work . . All relevant evidence and all relevant factors will have to be taken into account."
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