In Dewhurst v Revisecatch Ltd t/a Ecourier and City Sprint (UK) Limited the Tribunal held for the first time that Gig Workers qualify for protection under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).
In the context of TUPE what this means is:-
1. Workers (as well as employees) will automatically transfer from the outgoing employer (transferor) to the new employer (transferee) with their existing contractual and statutory rights, and any changes post-transfer will be restricted;
2. Details about transferring workers will need to be included by the transferor in the “employee liability information” which the transferor is required by TUPE to provide to the transferee; and
3. Employers will be required to inform and consult with workers about a relevant transfer in the same way as they do with employees (for which failure to do so can result in an award of up to 13 weeks’ pay per affected individual).
So for employers looking to acquire a business (or take over a service contract) you should conduct appropriate due diligence to identify the seller’s worker population. Failing to do this could leave you (and seller) exposed to claims.