On the Buses…

The case of CT PLUS (Yorkshire) CIC v. Black and ors looked at whether a change in bus service from subsidised to commercial venture could be a “service provision change” (SPC) within the scope of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE). The EAT held that it was not an SPC as the new provider did not provide the service “on the Council’s behalf”, as required under TUPE.
CT PLUS (Yorkshire) CIC (CTP), ran a subsidised park-and-ride bus service in Hull under a contract with the Council. Lincolnshire Road Car Ltd T/A Stagecoach (LRC) decided to run its own unsubsidised service on the same route. As the Council was not required to run a subsidised service in competition, the Council ended the contract with CTP. LRC used its own buses, took nothing from CTP and had no contract with the Council. LRC disagreed that TUPE obliged it to take on CTP’s drivers. LRC believed there was no transfer. The EAT had to decide who should compensate the stranded CTP employees.
An employment tribunal judge reviewed the matter. He held LRC was running the service in its own interest and there was no SPC. He held LRC did not carry out the activities for the Council (“on the client’s behalf”) as TUPE requires. On appeal the EAT agreed with the employment tribunal judge that TUPE did not apply. The EAT did not feel the Council remained the “client” as LRC was running it as a commercial venture and ignored reservations raised by the Council (for example, in relation to changes to running times). These were important considerations for deciding whether there was a “client” for the purposes of TUPE or simply an “interested bystander”, as held here.

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Verity Buckingham

About Verity Buckingham

Verity is experienced in all aspects of employment law and corporate immigration matters. She deals mostly with corporate clients advising on contentious and non-contentious employment matters. Verity's contentious practice includes defending claims in the Employment Tribunal and experience of Employment Appeal Tribunal litigation in relation to claims of unfair dismissal, discrimination, equal pay and whistleblowing.

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