Kathryn Dooks, Employment Partner at Kemp Little LLP
Staff handbook provisions found to be incorporated into employment contracts
The Court of Appeal ruled in Department for Transport v Sparks  EWCA Civ 360 that an absence management procedure set out in a staff handbook had been incorporated into the employees’ contracts of employment. This meant that the employer could not reduce the number of days’ absence which triggered the process without the employees’ consent.
The Court of Appeal held that the provisions in question were sufficiently precise to be apt for incorporation into the contract and were therefore contractual and could not be changed unilaterally. However, the Court noted that each case would turn on its own facts and much would depend on the wording of the documents in question.
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