Employment Cases Update

Hall v London Lions Basketball Club (UK) Ltd UKEAT/0273/19/OO

Date published: 01/09/2020

Appeal against the ET’s quantification of the Claimant’s damages for wrongful dismissal and entitlement to holiday pay. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant, a professional basketball player, was employed by the Respondent under a fixed-term contract, until the contract was terminated early when he resigned with immediate effect. The Claimant brought claims in the ET including for constructive wrongful dismissal and for breach of the Working Time Regulations 1998 in relation to holiday pay, and the ET upheld all of his claims. There was no appeal against the findings of liability, but the Claimant appealed against the quantification of his entitlements on the grounds that the ET had erred both in its calculation of damages for wrongful dismissal and in its calculation of entitlement to holiday pay.

The EAT held that the ET had erred in law in its approach to the principles for calculating damages for wrongful dismissal, by limiting its consideration to the contractual notice period of 14 days that the Claimant was entitled to rely on in the event of a breach, rather than taking into account the remainder of the fixed term under the contract; accordingly, the matter would be remitted to the ET to make findings on the proper basis as to loss for the remainder of the fixed term. As to the holiday pay, the EAT held that the ET had erred in law in halving the Claimant's entitlement to holiday pay to reflect the number of hours that he worked on average per week; there was no basis for such pro-rating, as set out by the Court of Appeal in Harpur Trust v Brazel [2019] IRLR 1012, and an award of twice the amount awarded by the ET would be substituted.

Read the full text of the judgment on BAILII or download the file by clicking the link below.