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18 March 2015 0 Comments
Posted in Employment, Opinion

Unilateral change to staff handbook terms not allowed

Author headshot image Posted by , Partner

In Sparks and another v Department for Transport, the High Court has held that the Department for Transport was not entitled to unilaterally change the terms of a staff handbook which were found to have been partly incorporated into the contracts of employment. [read more] The Department for Transport was attempting to introduce a new standard trigger point across its various agencies in relation to the number of absences clocked up before an official absence management programme was initiated. The Court found that the current trigger point was incorporated into contracts of employment and could therefore only be changed if, according to the handbook’s variation provisions, the change was not detrimental to the employees. The Court held that the suggested change was detrimental and made a declaration to reinstate the employees’ original contract terms. A salutary reminder to have non-contractual staff handbooks!

This legal update is provided for general information purposes only and should not be applied to specific circumstances without prior consultation with us.

For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222.

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