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TUPE – Organised Grouping of Employees

18 May 2012

One question often asked in a service provision change situation under TUPE is what percentage of time the employee spends working on the activity. Following Seawell v Ceva even 100% won’t necessarily result in a transfer.

Ceva Freight (UK) Limited provided a service to Seawell. Mr Moffat was employed by Ceva and worked exclusively on the Seawell account, although Ceva had other clients. Seawell brought the service in house and Ceva claimed that TUPE applied.

A service provision change requires an organised grouping of employees which must carry out activities on behalf of the client as its principal purpose. Following this case and Eddie Stobart Limited v Moreman it is not enough that the employee happens to work on a particular service for the majority (or all) of his time. The organised grouping of employees must have been deliberately formed for the purpose of carrying out the work. There will be no transfer when an employee merely happens to work solely for a particular client.

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