The claimant appealed against refusal of summary judgment on his claim for payment of a discretionary employment bonus by the defendant.
Held: The appeal succeeded and summary judgment was given. The contract properly construed did give rise to a bonus calculated according to the formula. Appying Elias J’s ‘only referable’ test, it would be quite wrong to infer from all the circumstances that the claimant had accepted changes to his contract, changes which were wholly to his disadvantage both by removing his right to performance related bonus and imposing restrictive covenants. Doing nothing, like saying nothing (in the absence of an obligation to communicate or act) is inherently ambiguous. The court had been asked whether the employee’s act of continuing to work constituted the acceptance of adverse changes to his contract. In this case it did not.
Rix LJ, Longmore LJ, Jacob LJ
 EWCA Civ 397
England and Wales
Approved – Nigeria v Santolina Investment Corp and others ChD 7-Mar-2007
The federal government sought to recover properties from the defendants which it said were the proceeds of corrupt behaviour by the principal defendant who had been State Governor of a province. The claimant sought summary judgment.
Held: . .
Cited – Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd v West Bromwich Building Society HL 19-Jun-1997
Account taken of circumstances wihout ambiguity
The respondent gave advice on home income plans. The individual claimants had assigned their initial claims to the scheme, but later sought also to have their mortgages in favour of the respondent set aside.
Held: Investors having once . .
Cited – Commerzbank Ag v Keen CA 17-Nov-2006
The bank had sought summary dismissal of a claim for non-payment of bonuses to the claimant a former employee, and now appealed refusal of its request for summary dismissal, saying that the claim had no prospect of success. The claimant said that . .
Cited – Cantor Fitzgerald International v Horkulak CA 14-Oct-2004
The employee claimed under a bonus clause which ‘contained in a contract of employment in a high earning and competitive activity in which the payment of discretionary bonuses is part of the remuneration structure of employers.’
Held: The . .
Cited – Rigby v Ferodo Ltd HL 1988
The House considered a claim for constructive dismissal where the employer had changed the terms of the employment contract by unilaterally imposing a pay cut.
Held: It was possible for an employee to continue to work under protest as to the . .
Cited – Jones v Associated Tunnelling Co Ltd EAT 16-Oct-1981
The tribunal had been asked as to the circumstances under which the acceptance of new employment terms can be inferred from an employee’s continuing to work.
Browne-Wilkinson P said: ‘The starting point must be that a contract of employment . .
Cited – Solectron Scotland Ltd v Roper and others EAT 31-Jul-2003
The court was asked whether, following a TUPE transfer, a contractual term with regard to the making of enhanced redundancy payments had been preserved.
Held: Elias J said: ‘The fundamental question is this: is the employee’s conduct, by . .
Cited – Parties Named In Schedule A v Dresdner Kleinwort Ltd and Another QBD 28-May-2010
The defendant merchant banks resisted two group claims for annual bonuses for 2008 made by the employee claimants. They now sought summary judgment against the claims. The employer had declared a guaranteed minimum bonus pool available to make the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.408599