Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Litster v Forth Dry Dock and Engineering Company Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 16 Mar 1989

    Thus the courts of the United Kingdom are under a duty to follow the practice of the European Court of Justice by giving a purposive construction to Directives and to Regulations issued for the purpose of complying with Directives. Regulation 5(3) must be construed on the footing that it applies to a person employed immediately before the transfer or who would have been so employed if he had not been unfairly dismissed before the transfer for a reason connected with the transfer.

    If the legislation can reasonably be construed so as to conform with those obligations — obligations which are to be ascertained not only from the wording of the relevant Directive but from the interpretation placed upon it by the European Court of Justice at Luxembourg — such a purposive construction will be applied even though, perhaps, it may involve some departure from the strict and literal application of the words which the legislature has elected to use.

  • Inland Revenue v Wimbledon Football Club Ltd and Others
    • Chancery Division
    • 11 May 2004

    It would be different if the Sale Agreement were a sham or device adopted to disguise payments by the company to non-preferential creditors ahead of preferential creditors e.g. by agreeing an artificially low purchase price payable to the company for its undertaking in return for the assumption by the purchaser of an obligation to pay non-preferential creditors.

  • Wilson v St. Helens Borough Council
    • House of Lords
    • 29 Oct 1998

    (2) Without prejudice to paragraph (1) above [but subject to paragraph (4A) below], on the completion of a relevant transfer:-

  • O'Kelly v Trusthouse Forte Plc
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 20 Jul 1983

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal can correct errors of law and substitute its own decision insofar as the Industrial Tribunal must, but for the error of law, have reached such a decision. But if it is an open question how the Industrial Tribunal would have decided the matter if it had directed itself correctly, the Employment Appeal Tribunal can only remit the case for further consideration.

  • Mairs (HM Inspector of Taxes) v Haughey (Northern Ireland)
    • House of Lords
    • 22 Jul 1993

    It is not always easy to reconcile these authorities since as is to be expected they are frequently concerned with situations close to the borderline between payments which fall within and payments that fall without the statutory provision. In each case ultimately it is a matter of applying the statutory language to the facts.

  • Powerhouse Retail Ltd v Burroughs; Preston and Others v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust and Others (No 3)
    • House of Lords
    • 08 Mar 2006

    Mr Cavanagh said that some lack of legal certainty was inevitable, given that the time limit ran not from the date of the breach or from loss sustained as a result of it but from the end of the employment. He gave various examples of how uncertainty could arise even on the respondents' interpretation of section 2(4). I think that on balance greater uncertainty is likely to be produced by the appellants' interpretation of it.

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