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Malone v British Airways plc

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Decided  3 November 2010
Transcript(s)  BAILII
Citation(s)  [2010] EWCA Civ 1225
End date  November 3, 2010
Malone v British Airways plc httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Judge(s) sitting  Ward LJ, Smith LJ and Jackson LJ
Court  Court of Appeal of England and Wales
Similar  French v Barclays Bank plc, Dryden v Greater Glasgow, Kaur v MG Rover Group Ltd, Sagar v Ridehalgh & Sons Ltd, Devonald v Rosser & Sons

Malone v British Airways plc [2010] EWCA 1225 is a UK labour law case, concerning the construction of terms in a contract of employment.



British Airways plc reduced the number of cabin crew on their planes, above those required by law but below the level stipulated in a collective agreement, subject to a ‘disruption agreement’ requiring crew fly with one less member during disruptions and getting compensation. Section 7.1, entitled, "Minimum Planned Crew Complements" said,

Mr Malone’s contract said the collective agreement was incorporated. Malone argued the section was apt for incorporation because it affected the crew’s working conditions.

The Judge, Sir Christopher Holland held that those provisions were not apt for incorporation, and that even if he had found they were, he would not have awarded an injunction to enforce it because the balance of inconvenience weighed heavily against. The crew appealed.


Smith LJ, for the Court of Appeal held that the provisions were not aspirational, they were definite undertakings, but not an undertaking to individual employees. If it was individually enforceable, it would be ridiculous because then an individual could bring a flight to a halt by refusing to work under the contract terms. It was only binding in honour.

Ward LJ and Jackson LJ concurred.


Malone v British Airways plc Wikipedia