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Hellyer Bros v McLeod

[1987] ICR 526

Case summary last updated at 20/02/2020 18:56 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Hellyer Bros v McLeod

Ps were trawlermen based at Hull who for a long time had worked regularly and exclusively for the respondents pursuant to a series of crew agreements, such agreements being signed on each occasion when they were engaged to work on a vessel. When the respondent's vessels were being taken out of commission the trawlermen claimed that they were employees entitled to redundancy. CA held that Ps were not employees: Despite the long series of short term contracts, there was no ‘global’ or ‘umbrella’ employment agreement that founded ‘mutual obligations’ when Ps were not working under one of the short term contracts. 
Kerr LJ: “A course of dealing can be used as a basis for implying terms into individual contracts which are concluded pursuant thereto, but I can find no authority for the proposition that even a lengthy course of dealing can somehow convert itself into a contractually binding obligation - subject only to reasonable notice - to continue to enter into individual contracts, or to be subject to some 'umbrella' contract.”

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