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These cases are from the lawindexpro database. They are now being transferred to the website in a better form. As a case is published there, an entry here will link to it. The site includes many later cases.  

Employment - From: 1930 To: 1959

This page lists 45 cases, and was prepared on 03 May 2015.

 Young -v- Canadian Northern Railway Company; PC 25-Nov-1930 - [1931] AC 83; [1930] UKPC 94

 Sagar -v- Ridehalgh; 1931 - [1931] Ch 310

 Reid & Sigrist Ltd -v- Moss and Mechanism Ltd; 1932 - (1932) 49 RPC 461

 Withers -v- General Theatre Corporation Ltd; CA 1933 - [1933] 2 KB 536

 Barras -v- Aberdeen Steam Trawling and Fishing Co; HL 17-Mar-1933 - [1933] UKHL 3; (1933) 45 Ll L Rep 199; [1933] All ER Rep 52; 1933 SC (HL) 21; [1933] AC 402; 1933 SLT 338

 Ebbw Vale Steel Co -v- Tew; CA 1935 - [1935] 79 SJ 593

 Wessex Dairies Limited -v- Smith; CA 1935 - [1935] 2 KB 80; [1935] All ER 7

 Marriott -v- Minister of Health; 1936 - [1936] LJKB 105

 Warner Brothers Pictures -v- Nelson; 1936 - [1937] 1 KB 209; [1936] 3 All ER 160; 106 LJKB 97

 Marriott -v- Minister of Health; CA 1937 - [1937] 1 KB 128
Re William Porter & Co Ltd [1937] 2 All ER 361

Simonds J
Employment, Company

1 Cites

1 Citers

 Wilsons and Clyde Coal Co Ltd -v- English; HL 1938 - [1938] AC 57; [1937] UKHL 2

 British Industrial Plastics Ltd -v- Ferguson; CA 1938 - [1938] 4 All ER 504

 Marrison -v- Bell; CA 1939 - [1939] 1 ALL ER 745

 British Industrial Plastics Ltd -v- Ferguson; HL 1939 - [1940] 1 All ER 479

 Collier -v- Sunday Referee Publishing Co; 1940 - [1940] KB 647
O’Grady -v- M Saper Ltd [1940] 2 KB 469
MacKinnon LJ
Wages are payable only as consideration for work done and if no work is done no wages are payable, though this depends entirely upon the terms of the contract. MacKinnon LJ said: "It was rightly said . . by Atkinson J. (Petrie v. Mac Fisheries Ltd. (1940) 1 K.B. 258, at p.269), 'The question must depend, as is indicated in the notes to Cutter v. Powell (1795) 6 T.R. 320 [101 E.R. 573] (Smith's Leading Cases, 13th ed. (1929), vol. 11, p.49), on the terms of the contract. "The right to wages depends upon whether the consideration therefor has been performed." It is submitted in the notes to that case, as I think rightly, that it must be ascertained from the contract whether the consideration for the payment of wages is the actual performance of the work, or whether the mere readiness and willingness, if of ability to do so, is the consideration.'"
1 Citers

 Newell -v- Gillingham Corporation; 1941 - [1941] 1 All ER 552

 Chadwick -v- Pioneer Private Telephone Co Ltd; 1941 - [1941] 1 All ER 522

 Anderson -v- James Sutherland (Peterhead) Ltd; 1941 - [1941] SC 203

 Steele -v- Robert George and Co Ltd; HL 1942 - [1942] AC 497; [1942] 1 All ER 447

 McMillan -v- Guest; HL 1942 - [1942] AC 561

 Miller -v- Karlinski; CA 1945 - (1945) 62 TLR 85

 Bents Brewery & Co Ltd -v- Hogan; 1945 - [1945] 2 All ER 570

 Trussed Steel Concrete Ltd -v- Green; 1946 - [1946] 1 Ch 115

 Nokes -v- Doncaster Amalgamated Collieries Ltd; HL 1948 - [1940] AC 1014

 Humberstone -v- Northern Timber Mills; 1949 - (1949) 79 CLR 389
Napier -v- National Business Agency Ltd [1951] 2 All ER 264

The plaintiff sought to sue for wrongful dismissal on a contract of employment under which he was paid £13 salary per week and £6 "expenses", when his expenses could never exceed £1 per week. Held: The parties had made this bargain knowing well that the expenses figure was a sham figure and that by making the agreement in that form they were intending to defeat the proper claims of the Revenue. The contract was therefore against public policy and unenforceable.
1 Citers

Wrottesley -v- Regent Street Florida Restaurant [1951] 2 KB 277
Lord Goddard CJ
Waiters at an unlicensed restaurant (with their employer's agreement) put all tips into a box whose key was held by the head waiter. At the end of each week the contents were distributed between the waiters in accordance with their agreed entitlements. The weekly wage paid to each waiter by the employer fell below the minimum prescribed by the 1949 Regulations, but if each waiter's share of the boxed gratuities were added to the wage so paid, the total exceeded the prescribed minimum. The restaurant proprietors were prosecuted for failing to pay the minimum wage. Their obligation, under section 9(2) of the Order, was to 'pay' to the employee the statutory minimum remuneration. The magistrate dismissed the informations and the prosecutor appealed by way of case stated. Held. The reasoning was that the locked box – or tronc – contained money that the customers had given to the waiters, not to the employer. It thus became the waiters' property, and not the employer's, and so when it was shared out the waiters were dividing up their own money. It followed that it could not be taken into account in computing the amounts that the employer paid them by way of remuneration. It was not paid by their employers. Lord Goddard said: 'The amount of a man's earnings in an employment and the amount of remuneration which his employer pays to him are not necessarily the same thing.'
Wages Regulations (Unlicensed Place of Refreshment) Order 1949
1 Citers

Stephenson Jordan and Harrison Limited -v- Macdonald and Evans [1952] 1 TLR 101; [1952] RCOC 10
3 Dec 1951
Sir Raymoind Evershed MR, Denning and Morris LJJ
Intellectual Property, Employment
An accountant engineer employed by the plaintiffs assigned to the defendants the copyright in a work derived from public lectures he had given. The plaintiffs obtained an injunction saying that the work contained confidential material and that having been prepared in the course of his employment, the copyright belonged to them. The publishers appealed. Held: The defendant's appeal succeeded in part. The claim of breach of confidence was not supported by the evidence and failed. The bulk of the work was derived from public lectures given outside the scope of the author's employment as an accountant, and he owned and could assign the copyrights. In particular it seemed that some was written after the termination of the employment. Certain parts of it however were created as part of his employment and were not his to assign. There was a mixed contract with certain parts created under a contract of employment, and certain under a contract for services.
Copyright Act 1911 5(1)(b)

 Stevenson -v- MacDonald; 1952 - (1952) 1 TLR 101

 McDonald -v- John Twiname Ltd; 1953 - [1953] 2 QB 304

 Re Charles Selz's Application; 1953 - (1953) 71 RPC 158

 Terrell -v- Secretary of State for the Colonies; 1953 - [1953] 2 QB 482; [1953] 2 All ER 490; [1953] 3 WLR 331

 Dale -v- Inland Revenue Commissioners; HL 1954 - [1954] AC 11

 Attorney-General for New South Wales -v- Perpetual Trustee Co Ltd; PC 1955 - [1955] AC 457; [1955] 1 All ER 846; [1955] 2 WLR 707
Patchett -v- Stirling Engineering Co Ltd (1955) 72 RPC 50

Viscount Simonds
Employment, Intellectual Property
The court considered the position at common law of an employee claiming to patent his invention: "It is elementary that, where the employee in the course of his employment (ie in his employer's time and with his materials) makes an invention which falls within his duty to make (as was the case here) he holds his interest in the invention, and in any resulting patent, as trustee for the employer unless he can show that he has a beneficial interest which the law recognises." The source of an employee's duty is primarily contractual, though some of the terms are implied by law.
1 Citers

Zuijs -v- Wirth Brothers Proprietary Ltd [1955] 93 CLR 561

The court considered the extent of authority to be established to show the relationship of employer and employee: "What matters is lawful authority to command so far as there is scope for it. And there must always be some room for it, if only in incidental or collateral matters."
1 Citers

 M and S Drapers (a Firm) -v- Reynolds; CA 1956 - [1956] 3 All ER 814; [1957] 1 WLR 9

 Vine -v- National Dock Labour Board; CA 1956 - [1956] 1 All ER 1

 Huntley -v- Thornton; 1957 - [1957] 1 WLR 321; [1957] 1 All ER 234

 National Coal Board -v- Galley; CA 1958 - [1958] 1 WLR 16; [1958] 1 All ER 91
Scala Ballroom (Wolverhampton) Ltd -v- Ratcliffe [1958] EWCA Civ 4; [1958] 1 WLR 1057; [1958] 3 All ER 220
30 Jul 1958


[ Bailii ]

 Laws -v- London Chronicle (Indicator Newspapers) Ltd; CA 1959 - [1959] 1 WLR 698
Kores Manufacturing Co Ltd -v- Kolok Manufacturing Ltd [1959] Ch 109
Jenkins LJ
When considering a post employment restrictive covenant on an employee, the court should allow that an employer has a legitimate interest in maintaining a stable and trained workforce. However, even accepting that interest, an employer has no legitimate interest to prevent an employee, upon termination from taking employment with a competitor.
Jenkins LJ said: "Apart from the question of trade secrets and confidential information, we have described the matter requiring protection as being the adequacy and stability of the plaintiffs’ and defendants’ respective complements of employees. That, no doubt, is an interest which employers are entitled to protect by all legitimate means, as by paying good wages and making their employment attractive. We have further described the danger against which that interest required protection as being the unimpeded secession of employees of either of the parties to that of the other of them under the inducement of higher wages or better working conditions. But an employer has no legitimate interest in preventing an employee, after leaving his service, from entering the service of a competitor merely on the ground that the new employer is a competitor. The danger of the adequacy and stability of his complement of employees being impaired through employees leaving his service and entering that of a rival is not a danger against which he is entitled to protect himself by exacting from his employees covenants that they will not, after leaving his service, enter the service of any competing concern. If in the present case the plaintiffs had taken a covenant from each of their employees that he would not enter the service of the defendants at any time during the five years next following the termination of his service with the plaintiffs, and the defendants had taken from their employees covenants restraining them in similar terms from entering the employment of the plaintiffs, we should have thought that (save possibly in very exceptional cases involving trade secrets, confidential information and the like) all such covenants would on the face of them be bad as involving a restraint of trade which was unreasonable as between the parties. Here the plaintiffs and the defendants have, as it seems to us, sought to do indirectly that which they could not do directly, by reciprocal undertakings between themselves not to employ each other’s former employees, entered into over the heads of their respective employees, and without their knowledge. It seems to us to be open to question whether an agreement such as that, directed to preventing employees of the parties from doing that which they could not by individual covenants with their respective employers validly bind themselves not to do, should be accorded any greater validity than individual covenants by the employees themselves would possess."
1 Citers

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