On 22 September 2022, the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022-2023 was introduced to the House of Commons, and if passed could give rise to the most significant shake up of employment rights since Brexit. 

In summary, the Bill acts to automatically repeal all retained EU law, and remove the principle of the supremacy of EU law, on 31 December 2023 (with the power to extend the revocation date to 23 June 2026) unless specific legislation is introduced to retain it.

What this means for UK employment law is unclear at the moment, but as employment rights relating to the transfer of undertakings (TUPE), annual leave and working time, discrimination and equal pay, and agency, part time and fixed term workers are derived from the EU, the potential for changes in these areas looms large.

We can only speculate at this stage, but there does not seem to be any current indication or suggestion of a radical overhaul of UK employment laws that have their origin in the EU. The UK has a strong track record of high employment standards, on occasion ‘gold-plating’ the minimum criteria required of it by the EU, and although the promised strengthening of rights through the Employment Bill are yet to materialise, the current political landscape is not conducive to a government looking to significantly reduce rights. In addition, trade unions and worker organisations would certainly be likely to vehemently challenge any proposed changes that are to the detriment of workers.

Continue Reading What next for EU derived employment rights in the UK?

In Ottimo Property Services Ltd -v- Duncan and another, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has decided that, where several different clients change service provider at or around the same time, each individual service provision change can be considered together to decide how TUPE applies.

The facts

Mr Duncan worked as a site maintenance engineer at

In the recent case of Lorne Stewart plc v Hyde and others, the EAT made clear that it is important not to get side-tracked by the details of formal written contracts which are in place between the parties before and after a potential TUPE transfer, if such details do not reflect reality. Rather, it is essential to consider whether, in practice and on the facts, there is a service provision change and, if so, whether the employees in question are assigned to an organised grouping of employees which has as its principal purpose the carrying out of the activities concerned. 

Continue Reading TUPE service provision change – look at what is going on ‘on the ground’, as well as the contract

Since 2011, the Government has been considering proposals to amend the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”). Following an initial call for evidence and subsequent consultation, the Government yesterday confirmed the amendments it intends to make to TUPE.

Continue Reading It’s not quite “all change” for TUPE – service provision change provisions will not be repealed after all

The European Court of Justice (the “ECJ”) has handed down its judgment in a key, long-running TUPE case – Alemo-Herron v Parkwood Leisure Ltd.

The decision is good news for employers who regularly inherit employees via ‘TUPE transfers’, especially where those employees were originally employed in the public sector or in sectors that are heavily unionised. Thanks to this ECJ ruling, the new employer will not be bound by the terms of any collective agreement which is negotiated after the transfer and to which it is not a party.

Continue Reading Collective agreements negotiated after a TUPE transfer will not bind transferee employers

Imagine a scenario where one employee spends 100% of his time working for one client. That client takes its services back in-house. Does the employee transfer to the client under TUPE?

The instinctive answer might be yes – but that will not always be right. A recent decision of the Scottish Court of Session demonstrates that it is always important to go back to the wording of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”) and, specifically, always consider whether there is an “organised grouping of employees […] which has as its principal purpose the carrying out of the activities concerned […]” (regulation 3(a) TUPE).

Continue Reading When is an organised grouping of employees not an organised grouping of employees? (UK TUPE update)

In Seawell Ltd v Ceva Freight (UK) Ltd and another UKEATS/0034/11, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) held that an employee who spent 100% of his time working for a single client was not an “organised grouping of employees” for the purposes of regulation 3(3)(a)(i) of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”). Therefore when the client brought in-house work previously carried out by the Claimant’s employer, there was no service provision change.

Continue Reading Service provision changes: Is an employee who works only for one client an “organised grouping of employees”?

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held in Johnson Controls v Campbell and Anor that there was no service provision change under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”) where a centralised taxi booking service was brought back in-house by the client. Although the client was still undertaking the activity of booking taxis, there was no “centralised service” in place following the transfer. As a result, there was held to be an essentially different activity in place and TUPE did not apply. 

This case follows another recent decision in Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust v Hamshaw and others which held that where care services transferred from the Trust to new providers there was not a service provision change because the services were not fundamentally or essentially the same, owing to the methods used to provide them.

Continue Reading TUPE: Service Provision Changes and what activities transfer

In Abellio London Ltd (Formerly Travel London Ltd) v Musse and others UKEAT 0283/11 and 0631/11, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) ruled that a relocation of six miles within central London which resulted in the employees having to travel an extra one to two hours to work following a service provision change amounted to a substantial change to employees’ working conditions to their material detriment entitling them to resign under regulation 4(9) of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”). As regulation 4(9) of TUPE deems an employee’s resignation to be a “dismissal” where it is in response to such a change, the employees concerned were entitled to claim automatic unfair dismissal and liability for their dismissals passed to the transferee. Since it would not have mattered had the contracts of employment contained valid mobility clauses, the decision is not good news for transferees in TUPE transfer situations. The decision sets a very low hurdle for employees to overcome in order to be able to resign in reliance on regulation 4(9) of TUPE. Transferees will need to consider the extent of this risk when negotiating transfer provisions with the transferor, and, if necessary, seek indemnity protection.

Continue Reading Service provision changes: Relocation because of TUPE transfer was a substantial change to employees’ material detriment