Case round-up

Case round-up by Eversheds 020 7919 4500

Tribunal recommendsre-employment
Sterling v Leeds Rhinos Rugby Club and others EAT, 9 September 2002, All
ER(D) 110n

Sterling was employed by Leeds Rhinos to play rugby league football under a
series of contracts. During his last contract, he was excluded from the first
team squad and subsequently brought tribunal complaints for race discrimination
and victimisation.

The tribunal found that Leeds Rhinos had racially discriminated against
Sterling by excluding him from the first team and had victimised him by failing
properly to investigate his complaint of race discrimination. Sterling
indicated that, having brought a successful tribunal complaint, he anticipated
some problems in obtaining new employment. The tribunal recommended that Leeds
Rhinos should offer Sterling a contract on the same terms as his previous
contract and also awarded him £10,000 for injury to feelings. However, Leeds
Rhinos successfully appealed against the tribunal’s recommendation of
re-employment.

A tribunal’s power to make a recommendation in these circumstances must be
for the purpose of reducing or obviating the adverse effect of the
discrimination about which he has complained. While the tribunal’s
recommendation of a new contract had been intended to minimise Sterling’s
difficulties in obtaining employment, it did not reduce the effect of his
exclusion from the first team or failure properly to investigate his assertion
of discrimination.

No entitlement to ill health payment
Campbell v Union Carbide Ltd EAT, 15 March 2002, All ER(D) 143

The EAT Tribunal recently ruled that an employee had no contractual
entitlement to an ex-gratia payment when his employment was terminated on the
grounds of ill health.

n Campbell worked for ICI plc when his employment was transferred to Union
Carbide on the same terms and conditions. ICI’s practice had been to make an
ex-gratia payment to employees dismissed on the grounds of ill health, after an
absence of six months. Campbell was absent on sick leave for six months, when
Union Carbide terminated his employment. Campbell brought a tribunal claim,
arguing that he was contractually entitled to the ill health payment, on the
grounds that the term was implied into his contract by custom and practice. The
tribunal dismissed his claim and Campbell appealed.

The EAT dismissed his appeal. The fact that the payment had always been made
did not in itself give rise to the implication of a term by custom and
practice. It could not be inferred that both parties intended the ill health
retirement payment to form a term of the contract, and Union Carbide was
therefore not contractually bound to make such a payment.

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