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TUPE - Service Provision Change and Supply of Goods

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[Thanks to Sarah Russell, solicitor at Ventura, for preparing this case summary, and to Laurie Anstis of Boyes Turner for standing in during Daniel Barnett's absence]

Were workers on a manufacturing assembly line providing services for the purposes of a Service Provision Change ('SPC') under Regulation 3(1)(b) of TUPE?

No, according to the EAT in Pannu v Geo W King Ltd. The position was not altered by the fact that the purchaser of the assembled goods also paid for the components. The employment tribunal had found that the overall manufacturing process was more than just assembly of components, as the constituent components were checked for safety, but still found that it was 'wholly or mainly' a supply of goods, and so exempted from the SPC provisions. HHJ Peter Clark upheld this finding. He endorsed the comment of HHJ Burke QC in Metropolitan Resources Ltd v Churchill Dulwich Ltd [2009] IRLR 700 (EAT) that the SPC provisions are straightforward and their application to individual cases is a question of fact for the tribunal.