ICTS (UK) Ltd v Visram [2020] EWCA Civ 202

Appeal against the EAT’s judgment affirming the ET’s remedy decision on a long-term disability benefit (“LTDB”) provision which formed part of the Claimant’s contract of employment. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant worked for the Appellant and, under his terms of employment, was entitled to long-term disability benefits ("LTDB") under a disability plan. After a lengthy absence from work due to illness, the Claimant was dismissed, and he claimed disability discrimination and unfair dismissal. The ET upheld his claim. In dismissing the Appellant's appeal against the ET's decision that the Claimant's compensation for loss based on the LTDB should continue until death or retirement, the EAT held that the ET had not erred in its consideration of the "return to work" provision. The Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal, contending that the ET and EAT had wrongly construed the contractual documentation as meaning that the Claimant was entitled to the payment of LTDB so long as he was unable to return to his old occupation, but that entitlement to LTDB instead ended when the Claimant could "return to work".

The Court of Appeal held that "your return to work" must mean "your return to your previous work", which is a natural construction of the phrase; if the drafters of the LTDB Plan had wished to say that the benefit would only be payable for so long as the individual was unable to perform any full-time remunerative employment, it would have been easy enough so to provide. Accordingly, the meaning of the clause was clear and was correctly interpreted by the ET, and the appeal would be dismissed.


Published: 27/02/2020 16:00

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