Case round-up

Case
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Law
ruled that employer was not a pensions adviser
Ibekwe v London General Transport Services Ltd, CA, [2003] EWCA Civ 1075

Ibekwe
was employed by London General Transport and was a member of the London
Regional Transport (LRT) pension scheme. In 1994, following a management
buy-out, Ibekwe ceased to be a contributory member of the LRT scheme, and
became a member of the London General Transport Services (LGTS) scheme.

He
was dismissed in January 1995 due to incapacity. Ibekwe discovered that since
he had failed to exercise an option to transfer the accrued value of his LRT
pension rights, he was unable to claim the same ill-health retirement pension
that he could have claimed under the LRT scheme. He brought a claim against
LGTS, for failing to inform him of his pension entitlement.

The
court considered whether LGTS had a duty to inform Ibekwe of the possible
detriment if he failed to exercise the transfer option, but concluded there was
no such duty. LGTS had taken reasonable steps to draw the proposed changes to
employees’ attention by attaching notices to payslips and posting notices in
the workplace. It was not reasonable to impose a higher duty on LGTS, which was
a bus company, and not a pensions adviser.

The
Court of Appeal dismissed Ibekwe’s appeal. There was no promise by LGTS to
ensure the information was ‘actually’ communicated to Ibekwe. All it had to do
was take ‘reasonable steps’ to communicate that information.  

Activities
outside work conflict with employment
Pay v Lancashire Probation Service, EAT, [2003] All ER (D) 468

Pay,
a probation officer, treated sex offenders at Lancashire Probation Service.
When he told his employer that he sold fetishist products and performed at
fetish clubs, he was dismissed.

He
brought a claim for unfair dismissal, disputing his employer’s claim that these
activities might bring the probation service into disrepute. He relied on the
provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998, which require legislation to be
interpreted in a manner compatible with convention rights.

The
tribunal concluded there hadn’t been a breach of Pay’s rights under Article 8
of the convention (respect for private life), since his activities were in the
public domain. While he was entitled to freedom of expression under Article 10,
the probation service was equally entitled to maintain its reputation. It held
the dismissal was within the range of reasonable responses, and was fair.

On
appeal, Pay argued that as a public servant, his fundamental rights should be
respected and he should be protected from dismissal due to activities outside
work. The EAT disagreed, finding the tribunal had correctly considered his
human rights when deciding whether the Probation Service had acted reasonably
in dismissing him.

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