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Transfer of undertakings: Employee's objection to transfer meant no dismissal

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Hay v George Hanson (Building Contractors) Ltd [1996] IRLR 427 EAT (1 other report)

    • Hay v George Hanson (Building Contractors) Ltd

      1 August 1996

      In Hay v George Hanson (Building Contractors) Ltd [1996] IRLR 427 EAT, the EAT held that an employee who had expressed unhappiness about the prospect of working for the transferee could not be said to have objected to (or refused) the transfer. An employee who refuses outright to transfer should, said the EAT, inform his or her employer in clear and unequivocal terms (whether by word or deed, or by a combination of the two) that he or she refuses to work for the transferor.

An industrial tribunal was entitled to find that an employee objected to transferring to a new employer and informed his employer of that objection, holds the EAT in Hay v George Hanson (Building Contractors) Ltd 21.2.96 (S)EAT 821/95. Accordingly, he was treated under the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations as having terminated his own employment. The EAT's view is that "objection", in this context, should be construed in a commonsense way to mean a refusal to accept the transfer.