Decision: The EAT overturned an Employment Tribunal’s decision that an employee, who was not paid on termination of employment for extra hours worked under a flexi-hours scheme, had suffered an unlawful deduction from wages. In a majority decision, the EAT held that in the absence of an express term in the scheme regarding payment on termination, the Employment Tribunal was incorrect to imply a term that the employee was entitled to be paid for accrued hours that he had not taken off in lieu. In the majority’s view, it was not necessary for the purposes of business efficacy to imply such a term and it was not a term which both parties would have agreed to when entering into the contract.
Impact: Employment contracts should ideally provide that employees will not permit flexi-hours to build up beyond a certain level, given the obvious difficulties that will arise if the contract is then terminated. More importantly, employers should specify what will happen when the contract ends, and whether flexi-hours will be paid for. This case also serves as a helpful reminder that where the Courts are looking at implying terms into a contract of employment, they can do so only in relatively limited circumstances.
Vision Events (UK) Limited v Paterson