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Tribunal says 12-month contract was short-term and outside of TUPE

Posted: 12th December 2012   In: Business Employment

A bus company has lost its appeal against an employment tribunal ruling that its 12-month contract with a local authority should not be subject to the TUPE Regulations 2006 (TUPE).

The company, Liddell’s Coaches, had five 12-month contracts to transport children to different locations while their school was being rebuilt. It lost four of the contracts when the time came to re-tender.

It therefore laid off one its drivers, assuming that he would transfer to the new bus company under TUPE. However, the new company did not accept the driver as an employee.

The driver then claimed he had been unfairly dismissed by Liddell’s.

The issue centred on whether a transfer under TUPE had taken place. TUPE regulations specify that its provisions do not apply if the work or services involved are in connection with “a single specific event or task of short-term duration”.

Liddell’s contract had been for 12 months. The tribunal said that contracts of this nature were normally for periods of three to five years.

It held that Liddell’s contract related to a single specific event and was of short-term duration. TUPE therefore did not apply.

That decision has been upheld by the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Please contact Robert Bedford if you would like more information about TUPE regulations or any aspect of employment law.