Thomas Wragg & Sons Ltd v Wood

Last updated
Thomas Wragg & Sons Ltd v Wood
CourtEmployment Appeal Tribunal
Citation(s)[1976] ICR 313

Thomas Wragg & Sons Ltd v Wood [1976] ICR 313 is a UK labour law case, concerning redundancy.



Mr Wood got six weeks' notice before redundancy. The day before termination was due he got another job offer. He refused it. He did not dispute that it was suitable and made within the statutory time limit. But he argued that he did not decline it unreasonably.

The Tribunal held that Mr Wood was not unreasonable, and therefore entitled to redundancy.


Lord McDonald in the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the Tribunal was right. Mr Wood's reasons were that he had committed himself to another job, that he was wary about future layoffs if he stayed with this employer, and that the offer of alternative employment was late in the day. All these, but especially the third reason, were important, relevant and material, even though the employers were within the statutory time limit for making the offer. The argument that the statute would have said something if this was intended was rejected.


    Related Research Articles

    United Kingdom labour law The rights of everyone to fair wages, a voice at work, equal treatment and job security.

    United Kingdom labour law regulates the relations between workers, employers and trade unions. People at work in the UK benefit from a minimum charter of employment rights, which are found in various Acts, Regulations, common law and equity. This includes the right to a minimum wage of £8.21 for over 25-year-olds under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. The Working Time Regulations 1998 give the right to 28 days paid holidays, breaks from work, and attempts to limit excessively long working hours. The Employment Rights Act 1996 gives the right to leave for child care, and the right to request flexible working patterns. The Pensions Act 2008 gives the right to be automatically enrolled in a basic occupational pension, whose funds must be protected according to the Pensions Act 1995.

    In employment law, constructive dismissal, also called constructive discharge or constructive termination, occurs when an employee resigns as a result of the employer creating a hostile work environment. Since the resignation was not truly voluntary, it is, in effect, a termination. For example, when an employer places extraordinary and unreasonable work demands on an employee to obtain their resignation, this can constitute a constructive dismissal.

    In United Kingdom law, the concept of wrongful dismissal refers exclusively to dismissal contrary to the contract of employment, which effectively means premature termination, either due to insufficient notice or lack of grounds. Although wrongful dismissal is usually associated with lack of notice sometimes it can also be caused by arbitrary dismissal where no notice was required but certain grounds were specified in the contract as being the only ones available but none existed.

    Unfair dismissal in the United Kingdom is the part of UK labour law that requires fair, just and reasonable treatment by employers in cases where a person's job could be terminated. The Employment Rights Act 1996 regulates this by saying that employees are entitled to a fair reason before being dismissed, based on their capability to do the job, their conduct, whether their position is economically redundant, on grounds of a statute, or some other substantial reason. It is automatically unfair for an employer to dismiss an employee, regardless of length of service, for becoming pregnant, or for having previously asserted certain specified employment rights. Otherwise, an employee must have worked for two years. This means an employer only terminates an employee's job lawfully if the employer follows a fair procedure, acts reasonably and has a fair reason.

    Employment tribunals are tribunal public bodies in England and Wales and Scotland which have statutory jurisdiction to hear many kinds of disputes between employers and employees. The most common disputes are concerned with unfair dismissal, redundancy payments and employment discrimination. The tribunals are part of the UK tribunals system, administered by the Tribunals Service and regulated and supervised by the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council.

    A severance package is pay and benefits employees may be entitled to receive when they leave employment at a company unwillfully. In addition to their remaining regular pay, it may include some of the following:

    Employment Rights Act 1996 United Kingdom Law

    The Employment Rights Act 1996 is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament passed by the Conservative government to codify existing law on individual rights in UK labour law.

    Taylor v Connex South Eastern Ltd (5.7.2000) Appeal No: EAT/1243/99, is a UK labour law case, concerning the TUPE Regulations.

    <i>Commotion Ltd v Rutty</i>

    Commotion Ltd v Rutty [2006] IRLR 171 is an Employment Appeal Tribunal case in which an employer, who denied its staff flexible working time, was found in breach of the Employment Rights Act 1996 for failing to have any lawful reason.

    Johnson v Unisys Limited [2001] UKHL 13 is a leading UK labour law case on the measure of damages for unfair dismissal and the nature of the contract of employment.

    Williams v Compair Maxam Ltd [1982] ICR 156 is a UK labour law case, concerning unfair dismissal, now governed by the Employment Rights Act 1996.

    <i>Polkey v AE Dayton Services Ltd</i> 1987 labour law case in the UK

    Polkey v AE Dayton Services Ltd [1987] UKHL 8 is a UK labour law case, concerning unfair dismissal, now governed by the Employment Rights Act 1996.

    In labour law, unfair dismissal is an act of employment termination made without good reason or contrary to the country's specific legislation.

    Buchan and Ivey v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry [1997] IRLR 80 is a UK insolvency law and labour law case, concerning the protection of employees' salaries on their employer's insolvency.

    <i>Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher</i>

    Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher [2011] UKSC 41 is a landmark UK labour law and English contract law case decided by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, concerning the scope of statutory protection of rights for working individuals. It confirmed the view, also taken by the Court of Appeal, that the relative bargaining power of the parties must be taken into account when deciding whether a person counts as an employee, to get employment rights. As Lord Clarke said,

    the relative bargaining power of the parties must be taken into account in deciding whether the terms of any written agreement in truth represent what was agreed and the true agreement will often have to be gleaned from all the circumstances of the case, of which the written agreement is only a part. This may be described as a purposive approach to the problem.

    Ravat v Halliburton Manufacturing and Services Ltd [2012] UKSC 1 is a UK labour law case, concerning the test for when workers are covered by employment rights when they work abroad.

    <i>Safeway Stores plc v Burrell</i>

    Safeway Stores plc v Burrell [1997] ICR 523 is a UK labour law case, concerning redundancy.

    Richmond Precision Engineering Ltd v Pearce [1985] IRLR 179 is a UK labour law case, concerning redundancy.

    In French Labour Law a Dismissal is the breach of the employment contract by the employer. French Labour Law stipulates that an employment contract can be terminated by either of the parties. The 2008 reform of Labour Law introduced the possibility of a negotiated termination.

    <i>University of Stirling v UCU</i>

    University of Stirling v UCU[2015] UKSC 26 is a UK labour law case, concerning the information and consultation in the European Union.