Insights - Lambeth College v University and College Union

Employment & Discrimination - Simon Cheetham QC

In Lambeth College v University and College Union, the High Court granted the College an injunction to prevent an indefinite strike by college lecturers arising out of the implementation of new terms and conditions of employment.  In his judgment given on 30 April 2014, Mr Justice Peter Smith allowed the strike to go ahead on the next day – 1  May – as it was too late in the day to stop it, but ordered the union to discontinue its strike action beyond that day.

Lambeth College advanced two technical arguments in support of its application.  The first related to the wording of the ballot and questioned whether it accurately identified the trade dispute; the second concerned the notice provisions under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and, in particular, whether lawful notice had been provided under s.234A.

In considering the balance of convenience, Lambeth College emphasised the disproportionate impact of the planned strike on its students, whose exams would be severely affected.

Simon Cheetham was instructed by William Garnett at Bates Wells Braithwaite to represent Lambeth College.

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