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LABOUR LEADER'S WIFE PUTS CASE FOR COUNCIL AGAINST STAFF

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An employment appeal tribunal's ruling on TUPE was contrary to domestic law, to European law and to common sense, c...
An employment appeal tribunal's ruling on TUPE was contrary to domestic law, to European law and to common sense, counsel for St Helens MBC, Cherie Booth, told the court of appeal yesterday.

The Times reports (p2) the appeal brought by teaches and staff employed at a special school dismissed and re-employed under less favourable condition when the school was taken over by the borough from the county council.

The staff argued, when they lodged an industrial tribunal claim, that they were entitled to the same employment conditions as before the transfer. That claim was turned down but later granted by an employment appeal tribunal.

The prime minister's wife told the court yesterday that the appeal tribunal's ruling would have the effect of 'ossifying' employers' terms and conditions so that they could not be changed, regardless of any advantage, if their organisation was taken over. Ms Booth said employees should not be entitled to 'have their cake and eat it.'

The Times reports that she argued that the TUPE directive protected workers rights, but its purpose was not to give employees 'a sword to attack their employer'.

'It gives a minimum protection and it is up to national courts to say how that protection is worked out.'

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