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Evenden v Guildford City FC [1975] QB 917

Employment law – Continuity of employment – Estoppel

Facts

Evenden was employed from 1955 to 1968 by the supporters club of Guildford City Football Club as a groundsman. The supporters club were a separate organisation to the football club. In November 1968, Evenden’s employment was transferred to the football club and he was given the same duties and all parties were under the impression that Evenden’s employment status would be continuous. In 1974, Evenden was made redundant by the football club. He then claimed for redundancy pay under the Redundancy Payments Act 1965 for his combined years of employment with the club, which he argued totalled 19 in all. The industrial tribunal only awarded him a sum based on six years of employment, since the transfer of employment. The industrial relations court dismissed his appeal. Evenden appealed again. 

Issue

It was important for the court to consider the basis on which Evenden’s employment was transferred from the supporters club to the football club in 1968. Evenden looked to establish that there had been an agreement at that time that his employment was seen as continuous, which would have meant that he worked for the club for a total of nineteen years. The football club argued that Evenden, at that time, had begun working for a new employer and it was therefore not possible for Evenden to claim for the continuous employment.

Held

Evenden’s appeal was allowed and the decision of the industrial relations court was reversed. The court found that the football club had agreed, when his employment was transferred, that Evenden’s employment was continuous and on this basis, he could claim for the full 19 years he believed he was owed.


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