• Robert Spicer

Redundancy: Written notice


Case Haywood v Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2018] UKSC 22, Supreme Court

Facts The Trust identified H’s post as redundant. If her employment terminated by reason of redundancy on or after her 50th birthday on July 20, 2011, she could claim a non-actuarially reduced pension. H told the employer that she was taking two weeks annual leave from April 18. The Trust issued 12 weeks written notice of redundancy on April 20. It was delivered to her home on April 21 by recorded delivery. A relative collected the letter from the sorting office on April 26. On April 27 H read the letter. She claimed that the notice period ran from April 27 and expired on July 20. The Trust argued that there was a common law rule that notice was given when the letter was delivered to an address.

Decision When an employee was dismissed on written notice posted to her home address, and there was no express provision in the contract of employment as to when the notice period would run, the court would imply a term that written notice only took effect when it came to the employee’s attention and she had either read the notice or had a reasonable opportunity of so doing. The presumption of receipt at the address was rebuttable.

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