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There is a
‘service provision change’ for TUPE purposes (in broad terms) when the supplier
of services to a client changes. This case shows that a service provision
change can occur where the provider of services to a group of clients’ changes:
the term ‘client’ can include the plural ‘clients’.
provided property maintenance services to an estate comprising blocks of
residential housing. Each block was run by its own management company. Another
company acquired the contracts to provide those services for some of the
blocks. D (who worked for Ottimo) claimed he should have transferred under TUPE
to that other company.
The question was whether,
for there to be a ‘service provision change’ under TUPE regulation 3(1)(b), the
services before and after the transfer had to be provided to a ‘client’
(singular), in which case there would be no service provision change because
the services were provided to the group of management companies; or whether
‘client’ could mean ‘clients’. The EAT concluded that ‘client’ could comprise a
number of different legal entities so long as the group of clients did not
change. To satisfy reg 3(3(a)(ii), the EAT added, the clients must have a
common intention concerning the provision of the services. The case was
remitted to the tribunal to determine this.