- Unlawful inducement: pay increase was an ‘offer’ and not a ‘unilateral promise’ (Ineos Infrastructure Grangemouth v Jones)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What is the background?
- Relevant law
- Background facts
- Decision of the employment tribunal
- What did the EAT decide?
- Court details
Employment analysis: Under section 145B of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULR(C)A 1992) it is unlawful for an employer to make an offer to a worker who is a member of an independent trade union which is recognised by that employer where (i) acceptance of that offer, together with other workers’ acceptance of offers, would have the prohibited result of the workers' terms of employment, or any of those terms, not being (or no longer being) determined by collective agreement negotiated by or on behalf of the union, and (ii) that was the employer’s sole or main purpose in making the offers. The employment tribunal in this case had been correct to find that a letter to employees notifying them of a pay increase was an offer rather than a unilateral promise or obligation and that the other parts of the test were also met on the facts. The purpose of TULR(C)A 1992, s 145B is to protect the rights enshrined in Article 11 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and, since those rights are the same both North and South of the border, there are no relevant distinctions in this context based on the Scots Law of contract, according to the EAT.
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