Labour Research May 2004

Law Matters

Activists and TUPE

A union activist pursuing a claim for unfair dismissal on the basis that s/he was dismissed for union reasons may not be protected under TUPE laws, even if s/he has successfully claimed "interim relief" (the right to be paid wages by the employer until the case is heard) at a tribunal.

Mr Justice Burton, the EAT president, has ruled that the right to be paid does not annul the dismissal. So, if there is a transfer to a new employer, the activist cannot claim against the new employer, because s/he was not employed by the old employer at the time of the transfer.

Dowling v ME Ilic Haulage EAT/0836/03