Does salary have to be paid?

Beveridge v KLM UK IDS Brief 661, EAT

Beveridge’s long-term health problems resulted in such lengthy absences from work that her entitlement to statutory and contractual sick pay was exhausted.

Her GP certified her fit to return to work on 1 February 1999, but KLM deferred her return while it obtained its own medical evidence. It was six weeks before KLM received a report, and in that time Beveridge was not allowed to return to work nor was she paid any salary.

She brought a tribunal claim of unlawful deductions from wages but this was dismissed. The tribunal held there was no express contractual term requiring KLM to pay Beveridge once her entitlement to sick pay had ended, and no such term could be implied.

Beveridge successfully appealed to the EAT. Having presented herself fit and willing to work and having provided a certificate of good health Beveridge had a contractual right at common law to be paid unless her contract expressly provided otherwise. KLM should not have withheld payment of salary pending Beveridge’s return to work.


Illegality does not prevent claim for compensation


Hall v Woolston Hall Leisure unreported May 2000 Court of Appeal

• Hall brought a successful sex discrimination claim after being dismissed because she was pregnant. Her employer, Woolston, argued compensation should not be awarded because Hall knew that Woolston defrauded the Inland Revenue by not paying tax on her income.

The tribunal held the illegality destroyed Hall’s legal rights when the contract ended and she was not entitled to compensation under the Sex Discrimination Act.

The EAT held that as a matter of public policy it would not enforce an illegal contract and dismissed Hall’s appeal. The Court of Appeal held, however, that as the contract was not entered into for an illegal purpose and Hall had not actively participated in its illegal performance, the contract could be enforced. Although Hall had acquiesced in Woolston’s failure to make the proper deductions there was no causal link between the illegality and her discrimination claim. The case was remitted back to the tribunal for compensation to be assessed.

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