Law Report: Case summaries

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The following notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Assignment

Estates Gazette Ltd v Benjamin Restaurants Ltd; CA (Nourse, Hirst, Saville LJJ); 20 May 1994.

In a licence to assign the lease of business premises in which the assignee covenanted with the landlord to pay the rents reserved by the lease 'at the time and in the manner therein provided for', the covenant was not limited in point of time to the period during which the lease was vested in the assignee but extended to the whole of the term. The assignee was therefore liable to pay rent which had fallen due after further assignment by the assignee.

David Neuberger QC and Edward Deneham (Manches, Oxford) for the appellant; Norman Primost (Peter Gillis & Co) for the respondent.

Employment

Commission of European Communities v United Kingdom (Case C-382/92); Same v Same (Case C- 383/92); ECJ; 8 June 1994.

By not transposing correctly into national law certain provisions of (in case C-382/92) Council Directive 77/187/EEC on the safeguarding of emplolyees' rights in the event of a change of employer, and (in case C-383/92) Directive 75/129/EEC on the protection of workers in the event of collective redundancies, the United Kingdom had failed in its obligations under the Directives and article 5 of the EEC Treaty.

The provisions had been transposed by, respectively, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 as amended, and parts of the Employment Protection Act 1975.

The failures were: (1) the UK law did not ensure that employee representatives would be informed and consulted in all cases envisaged by the Directives, as it did not provide for the designation of employee representatives were an employer refused to recognise them; (2) the Regulations did not apply to non- profit-making undertakings; (3) the scope of the Act, limited to cases of 'redundancy' (where there was a cessation or reduction of the business of an undertaking or a decline in demand for a particular type of work) was narrower than that of Directive 75/129 which applied to 'collective redundancies' (extending to dismissals for reasons not related to the individual workers concerned, eg as a result of new working arrangements unconnected with the undertaking's volume of business); (4) the Regulations did not require prior consultation with employee representatives 'with a view to seeking agreement' and the Act did not require such consultation 'with a view to reaching an agreement' and so as to cover ways and means of avoiding collective redundancies or reducing the number of workers affected, and mitigating the consequences; (5) the Regulations and the Act did not provide for effective sanctions in the event of an employer failing to consult and/or inform employee representatives.

Practice

Singh v Parkfield Group plc; QBD (Judge Hordern QC); 18 May 1994.

Although RSC Ord 22 r 14 states that a party might at any time make a without prejudice written offer to any other party in the proceedings, where there was simple money claim the court should be guided by the dicta of Lord Oliver in Cutts v Head (1984) 1 All ER 597 that in the ordinary way a person must back his offer by making a payment into court.

Robert Glancy (Vizards) for the plaintff; Julian Matthews (Brian Thompson & Partners) for the defendants.

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