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Updated to include information on Tees Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust v Harland and others, in which the EAT considered how to determine the "principal purpose" in relation to a service provision change.
Practical guidance on dismissals in the context of a TUPE transfer, including who has liability for dismissals; economic, technical and organisational reasons for dismissal; and information and consultation.
In RR Donnelley Global Document Solutions Group Ltd v Besagni and others; NSL Ltd v Besagni and others EAT/0397/13 & EAT/0398/13, the EAT held that the dismissal of transferred employees who refused to move to a new work location did not entail "changes in the workforce" and could not therefore be relied on as an ETO reason.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that a requirement to work in a different location following a TUPE transfer does not amount to a change in the workforce and is not, therefore, an economic, technical or organisational reason entailing changes in the workforce within the meaning of reg.7(2) of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/246).
In The Manchester College v Hazel and another  IRLR 392 CA, the Court of Appeal held that the employees were not dismissed for a potentially fair ETO reason when their contracts were terminated post transfer and replaced with new contracts on significantly less favourable terms. The fact that the "harmonisation" process was part of a wider restructure that involved making other employees redundant at around the same time was irrelevant. What mattered was the immediate and operative reason for dismissing the particular employees in question, who were not themselves at risk of redundancy.
The Court of Appeal has agreed that a transferee did not have an economic, technical or organisational (ETO) defence over the dismissal of two claimants as a result of harmonisation following a post-TUPE transfer redundancy process.
The Court of Appeal has held that, where the reason for a TUPE-related dismissal is to continue running a business and to avoid liquidation, this can constitute an economical, technical or organisational (ETO) reason entailing changes in the workforce, meaning that such a dismissal is not automatically unfair.
In The Manchester College v Hazel and another EAT/0642/11 & EAT/0136/12, the EAT upheld a ruling by the employment tribunal that dismissals as a result of post-TUPE-transfer harmonisation were automatically unfair because they did not constitute an ETO reason "entailing changes in the workforce".
Carly Mather, Lydia Newman and Amy Ross-Sercombe are associates and Amanda Steadman is a professional support lawyer at Addleshaw Goddard LLP. They round up the latest rulings.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to automatically unfair dismissals for reasons connected to TUPE transfers.