The High Court has recently held that an employee was bound by the terms of a new contract of employment provided to him after he was promoted, but which he had not signed and returned to his employer. The new contract contained post termination restrictive covenants on which the employer sought to rely. Whether the covenants were enforceable was not at issue in this case.
The court held that the employee's acceptance of the new contract could be implied by the fact that he applied for private medical insurance (PMI) cover that was only available to him under it. The employee was therefore bound by the terms of the new contract from the date he applied for the PMI.
This case highlights the importance for employers of ensuring that existing employees actually sign and return new contractual terms issued following a change in role or a promotion. (FW Farnsworth Ltd and another v Lacy and others  EWHC 2830.)
Supreme Court decision in the BA pilots' holiday pay dispute -
In light of the ECJ's recent decision in this case, the Supreme Court has overturned the Court of Appeal's decision that British Airways was not in breach of regulation 4 of the Civil Aviation (Working Time) Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/756) by paying airline pilots basic pay only during periods of annual leave without taking into account certain contractual supplementary payments. The ECJ had held that "normal remuneration" for the purposes of the Aviation Directive (2000/79/EC) would include remuneration intrinsically linked to the performance of contractual tasks, but not remuneration intended to cover costs. The Supreme Court concluded that these principles could be applied by domestic courts to the Civil Aviation Regulations. It remitted the pilots' claims to the employment tribunal to assess the appropriate payments to be included in respect of flight pay supplements and to consider the extent to which time away from base allowances were intended exclusively to cover costs (and, therefore, whether they should be excluded from holiday pay).
Although the case directly concerns holiday pay under the Aviation Directive rather than the Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC), the ECJ proceeded on the basis that the same principles apply to both. Given this, Williams brings into question whether the "week's pay" regime for calculating holiday pay under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) is consistent with the requirement for a worker to receive "normal remuneration", as interpreted by the ECJ. (British Airways plc v Williams and others