This week’s case round up
Pellowe v Pendragon, IRLB 634, EAT
• Following a Tupe transfer, Pellowe’s employment transferred from Lex to
Pendragon which subsequently made her redundant. She received her statutory
redundancy entitlement but brought a breach of contract claim on the basis that
under her contract with Lex she was entitled to an enhanced payment.
She argued that for 20 years Lex had a policy of making enhanced payments
calculated in accordance with a multiplier set out in the management manual.
Moreover, the employee handbook contained a statement that compensation
would be paid to redundant employees.
The tribunal dismissed Pellowe’s claim because there was no express
contractual term giving rise to an enhanced payment and no term could be
implied by custom or practice.
Pellowe’s appeal to the EAT was unsuccessful. The manual was an instruction
manual for managers; it had not been formally circulated to employees and did
not impose a contractual obligation to make enhanced redundancy payments.
Causation and disability discrimination
Murphy v Sheffield Hallam University, IRLB 635, EAT
Murphy, who was deaf, applied for a position at the university and referred
to his disability on the application form. His first interview was adjourned
because the university failed to arrange for a sign interpreter to attend.
Following the resumed interview Murphy was not offered the job and he
brought a disability claim. Although the tribunal held that he had been
discriminated against at the first interview, due to the university’s failure
to arrange for a sign interpreter to attend, and awarded him £2,500, it held
that Murphy’s disability played no part in the decision to appoint another
individual, who was not disabled. The tribunal accepted the university’s
assessment that the other candidate was the best.
Murphy appealed, unsuccessfully, to the EAT which held he had not
established the necessary causative link between his disability and the
decision not to offer him the job. Accordingly, Murphy’s disability was not an
effective and predominant cause of his less favourable treatment.