Employees are entitled to remain on their existing terms and conditions after the transfer of a business from one employer to another. Any detrimental changes will be void if they are connected with the transfer.
In a recent case, after the transfer of a business, the new employer decided to remove an electricians travel time allowance which had been a contractual right since 1958. The employee argued that the variation was void because it was connected with the transfer. The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that it was not void, because the reason for ending it was not connected to the transfer but because it was outdated.
The EAT summed up the approach as 'The question to be asked is: what is the reason? What caused the employer to do what it did?'.
Tabberer v Mears Ltd
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