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TUPE: When does ‘the’ mean ‘a’?

06 April 2012  

Vanessa Hogan welcomes clarification from the Court of Appeal on whether a dismissal can be connected with a transfer if no transferee has yet been identified

In the recent case of Spaceright Europe Ltd v Baillavoine [2012], the Court of Appeal decided that a specific transfer does not need to be in contemplation at the time of an employee’s dismissal in order for the dismissal to be ‘connected with’ a transfer that eventually takes place. In reaching that conclusion the Court of Appeal reviewed conflicting earlier decisions of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Harrison Bowden Ltd v Bowden [1994] and Ibex Trading Co Ltd v Walton [1994]. It concluded that the EAT’s decision in Harrison was to be preferred and interpreted reg (7)1 of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) in line with that decision. This is a welcome clarification of the position and certainly one that gives TUPE the purposive effect required by the underlying Acquired Rights Directive.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Dynamex Friction Ltd & anor v Amicus & ors [2009] ICR 511

    Harrison Bowden Ltd v Bowden [1994] ICR 186

    Ibex Trading Co Ltd v Walton [1994] ICR 907

    Morris v John Grose Group Ltd [1998] ICR 655

    Spaceright Europe Ltd v Baillavoine & anor [2012] IRLR 111

Last modified on 15 July 2015