Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

The facts in Rogers v Dorothy Barley School

Mr Rogers (“the Appellant”) is a school caretaker working at the Dorothy Barley School (“the Respondent”) located in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Mr Rogers occupies the school caretaker’s house at the Dorothy Barley School and he asserted that his contract of employment stated that he would not pay for water supplied to the house – this was his employer’s responsibility. He was therefore aggrieved that he was presented with and asked to pay for a water bill. He submitted complaints to the Employment Tribunal of unlawful deduction from his wages and, further or in the alternative, breach of contract.

The law relating to unlawful deductions and breach of contract

Under Part II Employment Rights Act 1996 it is unlawful for an employer to deduct sums from an employee’s wages unless the deduction is required or authorised by statute or a provision in their contract, or the worker has given prior written consent to the deduction. A deduction occurs if the worker receives less than 100% of the wages that they are entitled to under their contract of employment.

For retail workers, specific rules exist relating to the deduction of sums from retail workers’ wages because of stock or till shortages.

Should unauthorised sums be deducted from their wages an employee is entitled to submit a complaint to the Employment Tribunal.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision in Rogers v Dorothy Barley School

The original Employment Tribunal rejected Mr Rogers’ complaints. Employment Judge Pritchard ruled that the Employment Tribunal did not have jurisdiction to hear Mr Rogers’ complaint of unlawful deduction from wages as there had in fact been no deduction (in accordance with the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations. Further, the Employment Tribunal did not have jurisdiction to hear Mr Rogers’ claim for breach of contract as it did not involve issues of termination of employment. Mr Rogers should have presented his claim to the County Court instead of the Employment Tribunal.

Although the Employment Appeal Tribunal criticised Mr Rogers’ appeal (he was told in September 2011 that the Tribunal did not have jurisdiction to hear his claim) the Employment Appeal Tribunal did not see fit to award costs against Mr Rogers (on the grounds that the claim was misconceived). There had been no warning by the Respondent that it would apply for costs and no schedule of costs had been supplied to the Appellant before the hearing. Further, the school had precipitated the case by directing the water bill to the Appellant in the first place.

Our thoughts on Rogers v Dorothy Barley School

This is clearly a case where the justified grievance of an employee has been both misconceived (in that he did not have the right to pursue a remedy through the Employment Tribunal) and mishandled procedurally. No fault is attributed to the Appellant as these are complex issues of law and procedures but often specialist employment law advice is needed to determine how to pursue a remedy.

The points to take away from this case are:

  • The Employment Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to deal with unlawful deduction from wages claims where there is in fact no deduction from wages
  • The Employment Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to deal with breach of contract claims where the alleged breach of contract does not involve issues relating to the termination of the contract of employment
  • To pursue in an application for costs the other party must be notified of the intention to apply for costs, a schedule of costs should be supplied, and the applicant should not be responsible for the case itself

About Chris Hadrill

Chris is a specialist employment lawyer at Redmans. He specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including breach of contract claims, compromise agreements and Employment Tribunal cases. He writes on employment law matters on a variety of websites, including Direct 2 Lawyers, Lawontheweb.co.uk, LegalVoice, the Justice Gap and his own blog.

Contact Chris by emailing him at chadrill@redmans.co.uk

Share →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.52 Average

21 Reviews

Redman's provided excellent legal employment advice for me during a difficult time in my employment. Chris was my lawyer, super efficient, quick, reliable and clearly very experienced in the matter. Could not ask for a better law firm to deal with your query if you are in need of some help. Would definitely use them again in the future. Highly recommending Chris.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Steven

Chris Hadrill was very professional and responsive. I would highly recommend him

Posted 3 weeks ago

Dinah

Very Efficient, with very quick email reply’s. I had a matter that needed resolving within a very short space of time and Redmans Solicitors were great with dealing with my matter quickly.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Ankar

At Redmans the solicitor that was dealing with me was Chris. He dealt with my situation smoothly with clear guidance and explanation

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

Clear, concise advice and guidance delivered by an experienced and very capable solicitor, within the timelines required

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Very efficient service. I never had to wIt for more than a day for a reply to any of my queries and the matter was dealt with swiftly.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Very timely, thorough and helpful advice. Friendly and considerate of the needs of the client

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Very prompt and attention to detail. Thank you for the service

Posted 1 month ago

Chris

Couldn’t be happier with how Redmans successfully handled our seemingly tricky case. By being clear and detailed every step of the way, with the utmost professionalism and courtesy, they made it an informative and eye-opening process, taking the stress out of the situation and ultimately delivered what you would want from such a service. I fully appreciate everything they have done, and if I am ever in need of such services in the future, they will be the first number I contact. Excellent.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Excellent work delivered with great quality

Posted 1 month ago

Dominic

Chris Hadrill was a great help both in terms of his advice and his expertise. He explained my options to me clearly and concisely enabling me to quickly make the right decision for me in the circumstance. I would not hesitate to recommend Chris or Redmans to friends or colleagues, and would certainly make Redmans my first port of call should I require a similar service in the future.

Posted 1 month ago

Kurt

Redmans gave excellent advice and helped me understand everything in clear concepts. Thank you!

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Resolved my issues

Posted 1 month ago

Keith

Quick fast professional service.

Posted 1 month ago

Michael

"Prompt, efficient and practical advice that resulted in me getting some additional money tax free."

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Patient and thorough advice given to me around my Settlement Agreement

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

"Excellent service, getting back to you promptly giving you very good advice."

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

I found Chris Hadrill to be an excellent help, he is very knowledgeable and gives good ,concise ,strategic advice .He makes himself readily accessible when you need him.I would personally highly recommend him.

Posted 2 months ago

Christine

Professional, efficient and reliable service provided. I strongly recommend them and I would use this service again.

Posted 2 months ago