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9 October 2012
Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)
Lady Smith, Mr M Sibbald and Mr P Hunter
Contracting out services for a single specific event or for a task of short duration falls outside the TUPE definition of a ‘service provision change'. So a contract to provide transport for school children during a temporary 2-year relocation of a school was the contracting out of ‘a single specific event or task of short-term duration' and did not fall within TUPE.
A school needed to be relocated when it was found to have been built over a mineshaft. Liddell's were awarded five 1-year contracts to transport children at that school to other schools. At the end of the first year, three of those contracts were awarded to Abbey Coaches. Liddell's terminated Mr Cook's employment, believing he would transfer to Abbey Coaches under TUPE.
The tribunal concluded the contract change was not a ‘service provision change' because the contract concerned a ‘single specific event' of short duration. The EAT queried whether the rebuilding of a school could be described as an ‘event'; but it was either an ‘event' or a ‘task' and was of short duration - so was excluded from TUPE.
The status of employment rights on the transfer of an undertaking is an extremely complex area of...