Guidance from the case of Globe Motors Inc v TRW Lucas Variety Electric Steering Ltd highlighted that variations to contracts can be both verbal and in writing, even if, in a contract, it specified that variations needed to be in writing.
It adds to the ambiguity around contract variations. Even this decision by the Court of Appeal was not binding it was ‘orbiter’, but it does indicate how the courts may approach cases like this in the future. Each case must be dealt with individually, but employers should be aware that discussions around variations in contracts can be deemed as agreements and do not have to be agreed in writing and that any clause included to the contrary may be overturned. Obviously it is best practice and prevents ambiguity if all contract variations are confirmed in writing.
If you need any help with contracts, reasonable adjustments or alterations to contracts please contact our sister company FusionHR on 01924 827869.