On appeal from: [2015] EWCA Civ 455

This appeal considered the correct approach to quantifying the amount an employer can withhold from a teacher who lawfully goes on strike. In particular, it considered what the correct interpretation of the Apportionment Act 1870, ss 2 and 7 is and, if s 7 allows parties to exclude the principle under s 2, whether the parties did so in this case. The Supreme Court allowed the teachers’ appeal. The Court held that the Act was intended to address the problems that arose in the context of periodic payments, which are entire indivisible payments and it concluded that the appellants’ salaries were such payments. In relation to s 2 of the 1870 Act, the Court submitted that the word “considered” showed that the section deems that payments were to accumulate day by day at an equal rate, and thus an annual employment contract must be apportioned on a daily basis over 365 days. Similarly, the Court held that in relation to s 7, the principle of daily apportionment would apply except where the contract states otherwise in clear terms. There was nothing in the appellants’ contracts that stipulated for any apportionment other than on a daily basis. Therefore under the Apportionment Act 1870, s 2, the Court held that the appellants’ salaries accrue at an equal daily rate and this was not excluded by s 7.

For judgment, please download: [2017] UKSC 39
For Court’s press summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing, please visit: Supreme Court Website (1 Feb 2017 morning session) (1 Feb 2017 afternoon session)