- Is the rectification of non-legally binding collective agreements possible? Does previous litigation in the employment tribunal create an issue estoppel which prevents rectification? (Nexus v NUT and Unite the Union)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case Details
Dispute Resolution analysis: The court considered a strike out application of proceedings in the Chancery Division for rectification of a collective agreement reached between an employer and two recognised trade unions. It was accepted that the collective agreement was not legally enforceable but the court held that this did not mean that it was not capable of rectification. The unions also sought trial of a preliminary issue and summary judgment on the basis of cause of action or issue estoppel and/or abuse of process as the collective agreement had been construed within the proceedings before the Employment Tribunal. Those proceedings, subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeal, had been brought by individual employees whose contracts incorporated the collective agreement. The court rejected the res judicata arguments, holding that rectification had not been possible within the earlier proceedings. Written by David Reade QC and Joseph Bryan, barristers at Littleton Chambers.
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