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McClelland v Northern Ireland General Health Services

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McClelland v Northern Ireland General Health Services
CourtHouse of Lords
Citation(s)[1957] 1 WLR 594, [1957] 2 All ER 129
Case opinions
Lord Oaksey, Lord Goddard and Lord Evershed
Wrongful dismissal, construction

McClelland v Northern Ireland General Health Services [1957] 2 All ER 129 is a UK labour law case concerning wrongful dismissal, and construction of contracts.


Mrs McClelland claimed that her dismissal from being a permanent senior clerk for 5 years from the NHS on the basis of a rule that ‘Female officer will on marriage be required to tender their resignations to the board’, created after her job started, was wrongful. Condition 12 of her contract mentioned gross misconduct and inefficiency as grounds for dismissal. She was given six months notice. The Health Services argued that her contract was not wrongful because it could be terminated on reasonable notice.


The majority of the House of Lords, reversing the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, held that the dismissal was wrongful, because the express powers in condition 12 were exhaustive and excluded any implied power to dismiss on giving reasonable notice.

Lord Evershed said the following.[1]

Lord Tucker and Lord Keith dissenting, held that condition 12 was not explicit enough to be exhaustive.

See also[edit]

  • UK labour law
  • Unfair dismissal


  1. [1957] 2 All ER 129, 142


External links[edit]

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