Antuzis and others v DJ Houghton Catching Services Ltd and others

Company – Directors. The claimant Lithuanians were granted summary judgment on their claim for breach of their employment contracts, arising from alleged unpaid wages, unlawful deductions and fees, and lack of holiday pay. The claimants contended that they had been employed by the first defendant company (on a chicken farm) in an exploitative manner, commonly working extremely long hours and being paid less than the statutory minimum wage. The Queen's Bench Division held that there was no realistic prospect of the defendants succeeding at trial. The court further ruled, on a preliminary issue, that the second and third defendants (who were, respectively, the director and secretary of the company) were jointly and severally liable to the claimants for inducing the company's breaches of contract, because they had not been acting bona fide in relation to the company and, on the evidence, they had both 'actually realised' that what they had been doing had involved causing the company to breach its contractual obligations towards the claimants.

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