Case round-upOn 20 May 2003 in Personnel Today This week’s case round-upPresent not past workers Inland Revenue Wales & Midlands v Bebb Travel Plc, CA, 16 April2003, All ER(D) 291 The Court of Appeal confirmed the power to issue enforcement notices toemployers for failing to pay at a rate at least equal to the national minimumwage is limited to present staff and not past staff. Bebb Travel paid certain staff an hourly rate that fell below the nationalminimum wage at that time. After the company ceased to employ thoseindividuals, the Inland Revenue issued an enforcement notice for the underpayment.Using its power under s.19 of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, the InlandRevenue required the company to pay to the former staff the difference betweenthe wages they had received, and the amount to which they were entitled inaccordance with the minimum wage. Bebb Travel appealed to an employment tribunal against the issue of theenforcement notice on the basis that one could only be served in respect ofexisting workers, not past ones, and the notice was rescinded. The Inland Revenue appealed unsuccessfully to the Employment AppealTribunal, and pursued the matter to the Court of Appeal. The appeal was unsuccessful. An enforcement notice can only be served inrespect of current or future pay periods and so applies only to existingworkers. Even though the notice could be used to remedy previous underpayments,this is subject to the worker still being employed. There was no power underthe Act to issue an enforcement notice in respect of past workers for past pay.(Note: the National Minimum Wage (Enforcement Notices) Bill is currentlyprogressing through Parliament. Once enacted, this will enable the InlandRevenue to issue enforcement notices in respect of former staff of a defaultingemployer.) Reduction in hours not redundancy situation Aylward and Others v Glamorgan Holiday Home Limited, EAT, 5 February2003, All ER(D)249 In this case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) confirmed that areduction in an employee’s working hours constituted a change to their termsand conditions, and not a redundancy situation. Aylward and his colleagues were employed in a respite care centre. Onaccount of the nature of the services provided, the local authority required aminimum level of staffing to be maintained. Following significant losses, mainly due to poor use of the centre in themonths of January and February, a decision was made to close the centre forthese two months each year. The workers’ existing terms and conditions werechanged from a 52- to a 42-week year, with a consequential reduction in pay. Asmall number rejected this proposal and were dismissed and replaced. The redundant staff brought unfair dismissal claims. The tribunal dismissedthe claims, finding that it was not a redundancy situation. There was nodiminution of the company’s need for staff to carry out the work for which theywere employed, just a reduction in the number of weeks for which they wererequired. The workers’ appeal was unsuccessful. The EAT held that the tribunal was quite correct to focus on the requirementfor staff to do work of a particular kind, rather than on the amount of work tobe done. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.