Court of Appeal to hear long running TUPE dispute over sick leave rights

The Court of Appeal has granted permission for a long running employment law dispute to be heard, which will rule on sick leave rights under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).

The case, involving BT Managed Services Ltd (BTMS) v Edwards and another, will now go before the Court of Appeal.

This long running legal battle involves a claimant who worked as an engineer for BT. He had been on sick leave since 2008, as a result of a heart problem.

Attempts to find him suitable alternative work within the business had not proved successful and he was in receipt of permanent health insurance (PHI) payments. Although these payments were no longer paid by the insurance firm, his department continued to pay them as an expense.

Problems arose when the department transferred to Ericsson Ltd, as the new company refused to accept Mr Edwards was assigned to the team at the time of the service provision change.

Both an Employment Tribunal and Appeal found that Mr Edwards did not transfer to Ericsson under TUPE as he was not “assigned to the organised grouping of resources or employees”.

BTMS appealed again and Lord Justice Longmore accepted BTMA’s argument that previous European and domestic case law suggests it is wrong for Mr Edwards’ transfer to depend on his level of economic activity. The case will now be heard by a full Court of Appeal.

Carter Lemon Camerons LLP solicitors is a City law firm which provides legal services with a personal touch covering the full range of litigation issues, including TUPE disputes. For more information about our services, please contact Andrew Firman or telephone: 020 7406 1000.