27 June 2019 #Employment
The University of Cambridge was ordered by a tribunal to re-engage the Claimant after it admitted liability for her unfair dismissal. They refused, choosing instead to pay the Claimant an additional award.
The Claimant challenged the refusal and applied to the Court of Appeal for a judicial review of the decision not to comply with the order, arguing there was an obligation on the University to re-engage her and that she had the right to demand enforcement of the order.
The Court refused to grant her application. It held that the order for re-engagement was not designed to impose an “absolute and indefeasible obligation on the employer to re-engage the employee, or a correlative right in the employee to be re-engaged”. Instead, the Court said it creates a situation in which the employer has the choice to either comply or be liable to pay an additional award.
Relatively rare in practice, an order for reinstatement or re-engagement does not therefore create a right for the employee to enforce – the only remedy available to them in the event of non-compliance is the additional award.