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UNISON MAY CONTEST LATEST TUPE RULING

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Unison is considering challenging an Employment Appeal Tribunal decision which backed a private contractor in a row...
Unison is considering challenging an Employment Appeal Tribunal decision which backed a private contractor in a row over transfer of undertakings regulations.

On Tuesday the tribunal upheld a ruling by an industrial tribunal that 107 cleaning staff at Orsett hospital in Essex were not transferring under the terms of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations when Pall Mall Services took over a cleaning contract from Initial Healthcare Services.

The 107 people were made redundant and all but one of the staff were offered jobs by Pall Mall with worse pay and conditions.

Mr Justice Wood ruled the changes did not constitute a transfer because no equipment or goodwill - such as passing on business contacts - changed hands.

Unison, which is representing the staff, said the British courts had failed to face up to the clear message from the European Court of Justice on what constituted a transfer.

'This decision only postpones the day when the government will have to accept that TUPE and the [European Community Acquired Rights] Directive apply to compulsory competitive tendering', said Unison Assistant General Secretary Roger Poole.

The Cleaning Support Services welcomed the ruling and encouraged the government to press for EC legislation to be revised.

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