Addleshaw Goddard

UK 200 2013 position: 23


ECJ holds that transferees are not bound by post-transfer changes to collectively agreed terms of employment

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has held that a transferee was not bound by post-transfer collectively agreed terms of employment. It was held that European law precluded UK courts from adopting a ‘dynamic’ rather than a ‘static’ interpretation of TUPE; put another way: transferees are bound by the collectively agreed terms in force at the date of transfer, but not by any subsequent collectively agreed terms (Alemo-Herron & Ors v Parkwood Leisure Ltd).

In this case, the claimants argued that their new employer, Parkwood Leisure, was bound by collectively agreed terms negotiated after the transfer date. Under their contracts of employment with their original employer, the London Borough of Lewisham, they benefited from terms ‘in accordance with collective agreements negotiated from time to time by the National Joint Council for Local Government [NJC]’. The NJC negotiated a new collective agreement relating to pay after the transfer date and the claimants argued that they were entitled to a pay increase in line with this new agreement. Parkwood refused to abide by the new NJC terms and the claimants brought claims for unlawful deductions from wages…

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