Tribunal finds for Tupe bosses

Employers are not obliged to provide staff transferring to their organisation under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Tupe) regulations with additional rights and benefits to which they were not previously entitled.

In the case Computershare Investor Services v Jackson, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) ruled that the purpose of Tupe was to safeguard employees’ existing rights. Jackson originally brought the case against her employer Computershare Investor Services after being made redundant in 2005, claiming unfair dismissal and breach of contract. The tribunal awarded in her favour and Computershare then appealed the breach of contract decision to the EAT.

As Jackson had transferred to Computershare under Tupe arrangements from her previous employer Ci (UK) in 2004, she was entitled to a redundancy package under Computershare’s current terms. These were set in 2002, when its policy was made less generous for staff who joined the company after 1 March that year.

Jackson argued that, because she had joined her original employer Ci (UK) in 1999, she should be eligible for Computershare’s previous more generous redundancy package. The EAT, however, held that the purpose of Tupe regulations was to safeguard employees’ rights and not to improve them.

It also noted that the scheme’s terms do not refer to the date employment commenced, but to the date staff joined it.

Jackson has lodged an appeal against the decision, which must be heard before October 2007.