Transfer Of Undertakings

When you acquire a new business interest, the law often means that you also acquire new employees.

If a business “transfers” as a matter of law under the TUPE regulations, then staff might as well. This can happen even if you only take part of the relevant business.

We advise on the employment implications of such business transfers.

Case studies

Case Study 1:

Type of client:
Director

Area of law:
Transfer of undertakings / director’s employment rights 

Summary of dispute:
The client worked for a London based distribution business. He was described as a financial director but also helped manage the warehouse. His old company lost the business to a rival company which took over the contract with the main customer. Neither company would accept that his was their employee or that they had dismissed him. The old company accepted that he was an employee but said he was now employed by the new company because of a “service provision change”. The new company said that the old company had effectively sacked him.

What we did for the client:
We advised the client to issue an employment tribunal claim against both companies. We assisted and advised with all stages of the litigation and represented him in the tribunal.

Outcome:
After 2 days of cross examination on the way in which the business operated in practice and the importance of the main customer, the new company sought a settlement on the basis that there had been a transfer and the director was an “employee”. The tribunal adjourned the 9 day trial and we then negotiated a good settlement for our client.

Case Study 2:

Type of client:
UK based global company

Area of law:
Transfer of undertakings

Summary of dispute:
The company had various affiliates and parent companies both in the UK and abroad. One of the UK companies was due to shut down and another was to be set up carrying out a similar business but in a slightly different way.

What we did for the client:
We advised the company on the possibility and implications of there being a transfer of undertakings and how they should handle their current UK staff.

Outcome:
The business was transferred and the new method of working imposed without any complaint or claim from the affected staff

Time is often of the essence where legal matters are concerned.

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7815 3200 or email clerks@fivepaperemployment.com 

to discuss your issue today.