The EAT has held that an employer did not act unfairly when it terminated existing employment contracts and offered re-employment on new terms that differed from those offered in previous negotiations to change the terms of employment. The key facts were:
- The previous negotiations, which were unsuccessful, had included an offer to buy out certain existing terms, but the new terms of employment did not contain the buy out payment.
- The employer had warned that if negotiations failed, existing contracts would be terminated and a new offer made.
- The EAT found that there was 'some other substantial reason' for the subsequent termination and that the employer had acted within the range of reasonable responses.
Key point: Terminating contracts of employment and offering new contracts is invariably controversial. However if the appropriate steps are followed it can be an effective way of making significant changes to terms and conditions.
Slade v TNT (UK) 2011