Employment Cases Update

Hartley & Ors v King Edward VI College [2015] EWCA Civ 455

Date published: 18/05/2015

Appeal against a County Court ruling that teachers who had been on strike should have 1/260 of their annual pay deducted for each strike day. Appeal dismissed.

Teachers are directed to work 195 days per year, and also to undertake work during undirected time. The claimants had 1/260 of their annual pay deducted for each day they were on strike. The claimants argued that the proportion to be deducted should be 1/365 for each strike day. The County Court followed the case of Amey v Peter Symonds College [2013] EWHC 2788 (QB) and ruled that the proper deduction should be 1/260 (even though directed time was 195 days, the respondent did not suggest that the proportion should be 1/195). The claimants appealed. The Apportionment Act 1870, established the principle that monies are apportioned on the basis that payment accrues daily and the claimants relied on this principle to argue that their pay should be treated as accruing by equal amounts each day of the year.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The natural interpretation of the employment contract was not that pay would accrue equally day by day and the fact that work could be carried out on any day of the year also would not justify that conclusion. The CoA also compared the way in which part time teachers are paid, which was a proportion of the directed time hours, i.e. 195, not 365.

Read the full text of the judgment here.