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Law for Business

Knowhow - guidance - precedents

11 SEP 2012

Contractual disciplinary policies

The High Court, in Hussain v Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, has considered the factors to be looked at when deciding if clauses or policies have contractual effect.

The claimant was a consultant paediatrician working for the trust, who claimed the trust had acted in breach of contract by excluding her from work and bringing disciplinary proceedings against her. In determining whether the relevant disciplinary policy was incorporated into her contract of employment, the High Court held that there was no single test of whether the parties had intended there to be contractual effect but factors to consider included:

●        the importance of the provision to the contractual working relationship;

●        the level of detail prescribed by the provision;

●        the certainty of what the provision required;

●        the context of the provision; and

●        whether the provision was workable in practice.

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