A rare Court of Appeal decision on service provision changes in TUPE.
Ms Rhijnsburger, the claimant in this case, was employed by Drivers Jonas Deloitte, and had been deliberately allocated to look after the management of a portfolio of Dutch properties. She was the only person doing this. The portfolio was transferred to a subsidiary of Drivers Jonas Deloitte, Rynda, for whom Ms Rhijnsburger started to work. When was dismissed by Rynda she wanted to bring an unfair dismissal claim. She would only have the requisite 2 years’ continuous service if TUPE applied to the transfer of her employment. Despite appealing all the way to the Court of Appeal, this was a clear case where the regulation 2(1) of TUPE applied, allowing single employees to be an ‘organised grouping’ and therefore covered by the service provision changes in TUPE.
We must sympathise with Ms Rhijnsburger that this apparently clear-cut case was taken all the way to the Court of Appeal by Rynda, presumably at great cost to both parties. One benefit is that the Court of Appeal set out a four stage process on how cases like this should be approached by Tribunals. This is process involves a strong focus on the activities that transferred to the new employer; and whether they involved an organised group of people (or single person) who principally undertook them.