TUPE: EAT confirms that a single employee can be an ‘organised grouping’ of employees

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The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that an employee transferred under the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) where: (i) she was the only member of an organised grouping; (ii) the grouping’s ‘principal purpose’ was the carrying out of the transferred activities; and (iii) she had been ‘assigned’ to that grouping. The employee had transferred to the respondent company under TUPE and therefore had sufficient continuity of employment to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. The EAT dismissed the respondent company’s appeal and allowed the employee’s claim for unfair dismissal to proceed (Rynda (UK) Ltd v Rhijnsburger).

The claimant worked for Drivers Jonas Services Company from May 2009, when she worked as portfolio manager for a number of properties in the Netherlands. Although she had also begun working on the company’s German portfolio, it was subsequently agreed (following a period of sickness) that she would concentrate exclusively on the Dutch properties.

Her employment with Drivers Jonas terminated on 31 December 2010 and she began employment with Rynda on 1 January 2011, which had assumed control of the Dutch portfolio. The claimant continued to work on the portfolio. She was dismissed by Rynda on 22 October 2011…

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