Legal Island Update: Case Law Round Up Jan – Dec 2013

January 16, 2014


Welcome to Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s case law review for 2013. This year we have seen many new employment issues for the tribunals and courts to grapple with, as well as a few old ones for them to reconsider. You can click on a case in the index to take you to the relevant page and we have also provided a link to the full judgment beside each case for ease of reference.

The case reviews that are included range from discrimination to TUPE, but we start with a stripper in a nightclub, or rather, a consideration of the fundamentals of the employment relationship.
Stringfellow Restaurants Ltd v Quashie, a case decided in 2012 but not published until 2013, involved an unfair dismissal claim by a lapdancer in Stringfellows Night Club and is useful for those considering what constitutes an employee.

The Supreme Court also had to examine the definition of an employee in the President of the Methodist Conference v Preston, where they decided that a Methodist minister was not an employee for the purposes of unfair dismissal law. Lady Hale’s dissenting opinion is, as usual, worth a read.

A few cases in the media have now worked their way into the tribunals. Christou & Anor v London Borough of Haringey was an unfair dismissal case brought by social workers dismissed in the wake of the Baby P scandal. Bangura v Southern Cross Healthcare Group was a TUPE case arising from the closure of the Southern Cross care homes.

The Supreme Court were needed again this year, to rule in a case regarding sexual orientation discrimination. A homosexual couple who were in a civil partnership were refused a double bed in the case of Bull and Bull v Hall and Preedy. The hoteliers, whom had strong Christian beliefs, argued that they were exercising their article 9 right, to manifest their religion.

An Irish Tribunal found a gap within Irish law regarding surrogacy agreements. There is no provision for paid leave from employment equivalent to maternity leave or adoption leave for parents whose children are born under surrogacy agreements. The case of Z v A Government Department and the Board of Management of a Community School and CD v ST both deal with surrogacy and were referred to the European Court of Justice for a judgement on this complex, yet ever expanding area.

Finally, Berg v Blackburn Rovers Football Club concerned Henning Berg’s dismissal as manager of Blackburn after only two months in the job. Fortunately for Berg, he secured a £2.25 million pay-out under his service agreement with which to console himself – a reminder of the need to always get good employment advice before entering into a contract!

Your feedback is, as always, appreciated and please feel free to contact us if you require advice on any employment law issues. We hope that you enjoy the summaries of this year’s cases.

Michael Black
Cleaver Fulton Rankin
028 90 271312


Please click on the attached pdf for the full document