Secretary of State for Justice v Slee: EAT 19 Jul 2007

EAT Unfair Dismissal – Constructive dismissal
Maternity Rights and Parental Leave – Sex discrimination
The Claimant was employed as a Magistrates’ Clerk and she brought successful claims to the Employment
Tribunal that:
(a) Ms Slee (‘the Claimant’) had been constructively unfairly dismissed by The Department for Constitutional Affairs (‘the Respondent’);
(b) The Respondent had failed to offer to the Claimant a suitable and available vacancy following the redundancy of her existing post contrary to regulation 10 of the Maternity and Parental Leave etc Regulations 1999 (‘the 1999 regulations’);
(c) The Claimant suffered a detriment for the reason that she took ordinary maternity leave and additional maternity leave contrary to regulation 19 of the 1999 Regulations; and
(d) The Respondent had unlawfully discriminated against the Claimant on grounds of her sex.
The Respondent appealed and the Employment Appeal Tribunal unanimously dismissed the appeal. It held that:
1. The Employment Tribunal was entitled to hold that the Respondent had committed a fundamental breach of the implied terms of mutual trust and confidence;
2. Regulation 10 of the 1999 Regulations applied as it was ‘not practicable by reason of redundancy to continue to employ [the Claimant] under her existing contract of employment’. This was a redundancy situation as the word ‘redundancy’ in this regulation had the same meaning as applied by the House of Lords in Murray v Foyle Meats [1999] ICR 827 to the Northern Irish equivalent of section 139 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 namely that the contract test does not apply (see Re Jones Will Trusts [1965] 1 Ch 1124, 1131 and Floor v Davis [1980] AC 695,707);
3.The Claimant was entitled to make a claim under regulation 19 of the 1999 Regulations as she had ‘ been subjected to a detriment’ because she was pregnant as a result of the reasoning in Shamoon v Chief Constable of the RUC [2003] ICR 337; and
4. The Claimant was entitled to claim for sexual discrimination for the same reasons as are set out in paragraph 3 above.


Silber J


[2007] UKEAT 0349 – 06 – 1907




Maternity and Parental Leave etc Regulations 1999 10, Justices of the Peace Act 1949 (Compensation) Regulations 1978 10


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Cited by:

Appeal fromSlee v Secretary of State for Justice (1) Admn 19-Nov-2007
The claimant sought compensation under the Regulations as a result of her dismissal on the re-organisation of the Magistrates Court at Wimbledon from her position as court clerk. The EAT had allowed her claim for unfair dismissal. Her position on . .
See AlsoSecretary of State for Justice v Slee (2) Admn 22-Jan-2010
The claimant had been unfairly dismissed from her position as justices’ clerk. After appeal her additional claims for retirement and other compensation under the 1978 Regulations had been remitted to the Employment tribunal which had reconsidered . .
See AlsoSecretary of State for Justice v Slee CA 24-Jan-2011
The claimant had been found to have been unfailry dismissed by respondent, on the termination of her employment as an assistant Clerk to the Justices. The EAT had upheld her claim, but had at first rejected her claim for long-term and retirement . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Legal Professions

Updated: 12 July 2022; Ref: scu.259815