Argyll Coastal Services Ltd v Stirling - TUPE: organised grouping of employees [2012] EAT

It is essential, when determining whether there has been a TUPE transfer, to determine whether the particular employees in question were, as a fact, part of the "organised grouping of employees" that is claimed to have transferred to the new employer.

This was a TUPE claim by 11 crewmen and 2 office based administrators based in Milngavie. They all originally worked for J & A Gardner and Co Ltd (JAG). This company had a contract with the MOD to provide a vessel for cargo delivery in and around the Falkland Islands. By 2001 only one vessel was used by JAG for this purpose, the "St. Brandon", having a crew of 8 chosen from a pool of 16. In order to save on PAYE, JAG no longer employed the crew which, from 1997, was employed by Guernsey Ship Management Limited, (GSML). JAG paid a fee to GSML for the use of each crew member and paid cash sufficient to cover wages to GSML each month. GSML sub-contracted its employer obligations to a JAG subsidiary ,JAGM. Most of the employer work for JAGM was done by employees of JAG.

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