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The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE 2006), dictate that an employee's resignation is deemed to be a "dismissal" where it is as a result of :
(i) a substantial change to the employee's working conditions to their material detriment;
(ii) an employer's repudiatory breach and the employee claims constructive dismissal.
The recent case of Cetinsoy and others v London United Busways Ltd, clarified further what is deemed to be a substantial change. The Claimants in the case were party to employment contracts containing a mobility clause under which they could be moved to any of the businesses working locations. They were moved to another location following a TUPE transfer, to a depot three and a half miles away from their original location.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed with an employment tribunal that a relocation was not a substantial change to the employee's material detriment. It was also deemed not to be a repudiatory breach of contract.
However, case does highlight some practical points for employers and employees in similar circumstances.
Each case has to be decided on its own particular facts, it was an important factor that the other depot was only 3 and a half miles away and did not add on an unreasonable amount of time to the time taken to get to work.Also this was takent in the context of the contractual terms of relocation the claimants were subject to.
The threshold for the material detriment test is reasonably high. The tribunal has to consider the impact of the change from the employee's point of view but it must also be assessed as to whether it is reasonable to regard the change as being detrimental.
Whether you are an employee or an employer in need of advice in relation to any employment law issue in Edinburgh, Scotland, Employment Law Edinburgh's team of specialist Employment solicitors can help. To get in touch, you can either call us on 0131 516 7728 or complete our enquiry form.