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 continuing to work, only referable to his having accepted the new terms imposed by the employer? That may sometimes be the case. For example, if an employer varies the contractual terms by, for example, changing the wage or perhaps altering job duties and the employees go along with that without protest, then in those circumstances it may be possible to infer that they have by their conduct after a period of time accepted the change in terms and conditions. If they reject the change they must either refuse to implement it or make it plain that by acceding to it, they are doing so without prejudice to their contractual rights. But sometimes the alleged variation does not require any response from the employee at all. In such a case if the employee does nothing, his conduct is entirely consistent with the original contract continuing; it is not only referable to his having accepted the new terms. Accordingly, he cannot be taken to have accepted the variation by conduct.
So, where the employer purports unilaterally to change terms of the contract which do not immediately impinge on the employee at all – and changes in redundancy terms will be an example because they do not impinge until an employee is in fact made redundant – then the fact that the employee continues to work knowing that the employer is asserting that that is the term for compensation on redundancies, does not mean that the employee can be taken to have accepted that variation in the contract.’
The Honourable Mr Justice Elias
[2003] EAT 0305 – 03 – 3107, [2003] UKEAT 0305 – 03 – 3107, EAT/305/03, [2004] IRLR 4
Bailii, Bailii, EATn
England and Wales
CitedJones 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 by:
CitedKhatri v Cooperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank Ba CA 23-Apr-2010
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 . .
CitedGarratt v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd CA 13-Apr-2011
The claimant had been employed by the defendant. They made him redundant. He claimed and enhanced payment saying that his emloyment was covered by a collective agreement, but when he refused to sign a compromise agreement, the company paid him only . .
CitedDavies v London Borough of Haringey QBD 17-Oct-2014
The claimant had been employed as a teaching assistant. She came to work with the union, eventually being released from her work full time to undertake the role within the union. The defendant suspended the claimant from her role for alleged . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 17 February 2021; Ref: scu.187835