Company wins appeal against TUPE transfer ruling
A company has won its appeal against a TUPE transfer ruling following the awarding of a contract with the Ministry of Defence.
The case involved a company called Millbrook Furnishing Ltd, which renovated wood and metal furniture for the MoD between 2003 and 2008. It did so as a sub-contractor of another business called Amaryllis.
In 2012, Millbrook was awarded the contract in its own right and retained it until 2014 when Amaryllis won it back in a retendering process.
The issue then arose as to whether TUPE applied for the Millbrook department engaged in the MoD restoration work.
The Employment Tribunal found that TUPE did apply because the employees had been originally engaged to service MoD contracts. The fact that they now spent more than 30% of their time on other contracts did not alter that.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal reversed that decision. It held that it was not enough to say that a department carried out a substantial amount of work for a client; the work had to be the department’s principal purpose.
The timing was important for although the MoD contract had been the department’s principal role in the past, it wasn’t immediately prior to the transfer.
Please contact Jackie Cuneen if would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.