TUPE isn’t rocket science

…it’s not exactly straightforward either, but any competent adviser can identify warning signs that mean the issue should be looked at. Say, for example, Mr Bloggs is tired of running Bloggs pharmacy, so he closes it and reaches a financial agreement with the local Londis or Spar or whatever that they’ll plonk a Bloggs Pharmacy at the back of their store as a franchise. As the new pharmacy won’t be owned by Bloggs he gives his staff notice of redundancy. Now, was there a transfer of an undertaking, business or part of an undertaking or business situated immediately before the transfer in the United Kingdom to another person where there is a transfer of an economic entity which retains its identity? Yes there was. I honestly don’t see how you can get round it. So, take the same situation, with Post Offices in major towns (such as my own), where they’re closed down and bunged at the back of WH Smith. Do the same principles apply?

For some mad reason the Post Office don’t ever seem to have considered the possibility – rather than start consultation on a transfer they simply wrote to offer a choice between voluntary redundancy or redeployment to another site. The unions are now bringing a claim based on failure to consult (easy money, 13 weeks’ pay per employee) that could cost them as much as £2,000,000. And all for failure to consult. Such is the elementary nature of the TUPE claim ene could cynically imagine that the possibility occurred to the Post Office yet they decided on a commercial basis not to proceed with consultation. But that would indeed be cynical.