This is a preview. To continue reading please log in or Register to read this article

Unfair dismissal: Employee did not knowingly participate in illegality

This report relates to 1 case(s)

  • expand disabled

    Wheeler v Qualitydeep Ltd (trading as Thai Royale Restaurant) [2004] All ER (D) 602 (Jul) CA (0 other reports)

Key points

In Wheeler v Quality Deep Ltd (t/a Thai Royale Restaurant) the Court of Appeal holds:

  • The employment tribunal failed to apply the correct test for illegality of a contract set out in Hall v Woolston Hall Leisure Ltd [2000] IRLR 578, where the Court of Appeal stated that in order for a contract of employment to be unenforceable, in addition to knowledge of the facts which make performance illegal, the employee must have actively participated in the illegal performance.
  • The employment tribunal also failed to make the necessary findings of fact to support its conclusion that the performance of the contract was illegal. In many vital areas, the tribunal made assumptions as to the extent to which the employee and her husband knew of and participated in the illegal performance, when there was in fact no real evidence to lead to the conclusion that they had knowingly participated. Therefore, the appeal against the EAT's finding that the contract was unenforceable for illegality was allowed.
  • The Thai employee had a limited knowledge of the English language or of UK tax and national insurance provisions. If she had not had such limited knowledge, the tribunal might have been justified in finding that she knew of and participated in the illegal performance of the contract of employment.