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Employment Law

Legal guidance - compliance - software

09 OCT 2014

CSC Computer Sciences Ltd v McAlinden and Others [2013] EWCA Civ 1435; (2014) EMPLR 048

Edward  Benson


13 November 2013

Court of Appeal, Civil Division

LCJ of England and Wales, Tomlinson and Underhill LJJ

Regularly giving pay rises based on the RPI and informing employees that they were entitled to such rises gives employees a contractual right since that is what the parties reasonably understood the entitlement to be as a result of the conduct and communications from the employer.

The claimants’ contracts of employment provided that rates of pay would be reviewed annually by the company in consultation with staff representatives. They had originally been employed by ITS. ITS had always awarded cost of living pay rises. CSC took over the business and continued to give cost of living pay rises to the former ITS employees but not to other employees. In 2008 and 2010, CSC agreed with the recognized union pay rises for all employees, including the ex-ITS employees, of less than RPI, overlooking the fact that the union was not recognized in respect of the ex-ITS employees. Those employees brought a grievance in 2010 claiming they should have received a pay rise based on the RPI. When this was refused, they sued in the employment tribunal for unlawful deductions from wages.

The tribunal, upheld by the Court of Appeal, concluded that the understanding of all the parties was that the ex-ITS employees were entitled to pay rises based on the RPI.
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