The United States of America v Nolan: SC 21 Oct 2015

Mrs Nolan had been employed at a US airbase. When it closed, and she was made redundant, she complained that the appellant had not consulted properly on the redundancies. The US denied that it had responsibility to consult, and now appealed.
Held: The appeal failed (Lord Carnworth dissenting). That the exact situation might not have been foreseen was not a proper reason for creating an exemption not founded in EU law. The legislation was territorial, and was not legisalting extra-territorially when it covered a domestic dismissal occuring technically abroad. The legislation was intended to reflect EU law, which also made no such distinction.


Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Mance, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath


[2015] UKSC 63, [2016] IRLR 34, [2015] 3 WLR 1105, [2016] 1 CMLR 42, [2015] ICR 1347, [2016] 1 All ER 857, [2015] WLR(D) 441, [2016] AC 463, UKSC 2014/0073


Bailii, WLRD, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary


Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 188ff, Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 1995, State Immunity Act 1978


England and Wales


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The plaintiff claimed damages for personal injuries arising from medical treatment which he had received at a United States military hospital in the United Kingdom while a serving member of the United States Air Force.
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The US established a base at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, and provided educational services through its staff to staff families. The claimant a teacher employed at the base alleged that a report on her was defamatory. The defendant relied on state . .
Appeal fromThe United States of America v Nolan CA 4-Feb-2014
The employee was made redundant from working at a US watercraft repair base. She complained that on the base closing the appellant had failed to consult with her as employee representative. The appellant denied that obligation. After a reference to . .
At EATUnited States of America v Nolan EAT 15-May-2009
EAT REDUNDANCY: Collective consultation and information / Protective award
An Employment Tribunal held that the USA was in breach of Section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act . .
AT CA (1)United States of America v Nolan CA 9-Nov-2010
The claimant had sought a protective award under the 1992. She had been a civilian employee at a base operated by the appellant which it closed. She sought to sue as an employee representative, saying that the appellant had failed to consult its . .
At ECJUnited States of America v Nolan ECJ 18-Oct-2012
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At CAUnited States of America v Nolan CA 24-Nov-2010
. .
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Sympathetic construction of national legislation
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Notice Absence did not Remove Right to Cancel
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An overdraft facility was property which could be the subject of a charge of theft. In the context of the presentation of a cheque, improperly presented to a bank but which the bank pays, it was a theft of a chose in action by the person who . .
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A bank account used to cover the day-to-day expenses of an Embassy, clearly served sovereign purposes and therefore was immune from enforcement measures. The Act of 1978 must be read against the background of customary international law current in . .
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ECJ Public procurement – Tendering procedures Public service concessions – Concession for the operation of a municipal cable television network – Awarded by a municipality to an inter-municipal cooperative . .
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ECJ (Opinion) Social policy – Directive 77/187/EEC – Safeguarding of employees rights in the event of transfers of undertakings – Transfer of staff of a public entity to another public person – Recognition by the . .
CitedAssange v The Swedish Prosecution Authority SC 30-May-2012
The defendant sought to resist his extradition under a European Arrest Warrant to Sweden to face charges of sexual assaults. He said that the prosecutor who sought the extradition was not a judicial authority within the Framework Decision.
CitedThe Case of the SS ‘Lotus’ PCIJ 1927
Jurisdiction is primarily territorial in both international and domestic law: ‘the first and foremost restriction imposed by international law upon a state is that – failing the existence of a permissive rule to the contrary – it may not exercise . .
CitedF Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd v Empagran SA 14-Jun-2004
United States Supreme Court – the Supreme Court reflected on matters of comity in relation to US competition law in the Sherman Act, saying that a state has jurisdiction to prescribe law with respect to ‘(a) conduct that, wholly or in substantial . .
CitedMangold v Helm ECJ 22-Nov-2005
ECJ Grand Chamber – Directive 1999/70/EC – Clauses 2, 5 and 8 of the Framework Agreement on fixed-term work – Directive 2000/78/EC – Article 6 – Equal treatment as regards employment and occupation – Age . .
CitedVatsouras v Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) Nurnberg 900; Koupatantze v Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) Nurnberg 90 C-23/08 ECJ 12-Mar-2009
ECJ (Opinion) European citizenship Freedom of movement for persons – Concept of worker Validity of Article 24(2) of Directive 2004/38/EC Resident nationals of other Member States who have become unemployed after . .
CitedVatsouras v Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) Nurnberg 900; Koupatantze v Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) Nurnberg 90 – C-22/08 ECJ 12-Mar-2009
ECJ (Opinion) European citizenship – Freedom of movement for persons – Concept of worker Validity of Article 24(2) of Directive 2004/38/EC Resident nationals of other Member States who have become unemployed . .
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ECJ Principle of non-discrimination on grounds of age – Directive 2000/78/EC – National legislation on dismissal not taking into account the period of employment completed before the employee reaches the age of . .
CitedPatmalniece v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions SC 16-Mar-2011
The claimant challenged as incompatible with EU law, the Regulations which restricted the entitlement to state pension credit to those entitled to reside in the UK.
Held: The appeal failed (Majority). The conditions imposed by the Regulations . .
CitedAssociation De Mediation Sociale v Union Locale Des Syndicats CGT ECJ 15-Jan-2014
ECJ Social policy – Directive 2002/14/EC – Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union – Article 27 – Subjecting the setting up of bodies representing staff to certain thresholds of employees – . .
CitedBenkharbouche and Another v Embassy of The Republic of Sudan CA 5-Feb-2015
The claimant had been an employee of a foreign diplomatic mission. He said that he was not debarred by the 1978 Act from bringing claims for unfair dismissal and breach of working time regulations, saying that any exemption would infringe his human . .
CitedCommission v United Kingdom (Judgment) ECJ 8-Jun-1994
ECJ Despite the limited character of the harmonization of rules in respect of collective redundancies which Directive 75/129 was intended to bring about, national rules which, by not providing for a system for . .
CitedMartinez Sala v Freistaat Bayern ECJ 12-May-1998
ECJ A benefit such as the child-raising allowance, which is automatically granted to persons fulfilling certain objective criteria, without any individual and discretionary assessment of personal needs, and which . .
CitedUK Coal Mining Ltd v National Union of Mineworkers (Northumberland Area) and Another EAT 27-Sep-2007
The employer appealed against a protective award made for failing to consult the union on prospective redundancies.
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CitedBullimore v Pothecary Witham Weld etc EAT 21-Sep-2010
H, a partner in a firm of solicitors, PWW, by whose predecessor C had previously been employed gave an unfavourable reference to another firm, S, with whom she was . .
CitedITV Broadcasting Ltd and Others v TV Catchup Ltd PatC 18-Jul-2011
. .

Cited by:

At SCThe United States of America v Nolan CA 4-Feb-2014
The employee was made redundant from working at a US watercraft repair base. She complained that on the base closing the appellant had failed to consult with her as employee representative. The appellant denied that obligation. After a reference to . .
At SCUnited States of America v Nolan ECJ 22-Mar-2012
ECJ (Opinion) Directive 98/59/EC – Admissibility – Protection of workers – Collective redundancies – Information and consultation of workers – Closure of a US military base – Scope – Time at which the obligation . .
CitedMoreno v The Motor Insurers’ Bureau SC 3-Aug-2016
The claimant had been severely injured when hit by a car in Greece. The car’s driver was uninsured. The Court was now asked whether the scope of her claim to damages was to be determined in accordance with English or Greek law. The implementation of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, European, International

Updated: 17 June 2022; Ref: scu.553630