Constructive Dismissal – TUPE

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One recent case has provided clarity as to what may be regarded as a fundamental breach of contract, enabling an employee to bring a claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

In the case of Abellio London v Centre West Buses it was held by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that employees who did not want to move bus depots following their transfer of employment (it would add an additional 2 hours’ travel time to their day) were able to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal.  There was no mobility clause within the employees’ contracts and the transferee was not able to show an economic, technical or organisational reason in change in the workforce to justify this change.

The employees were entitled to say that the required change to move depots resulted in a fundamental breach.  It is common that following a transfer the transferee may wish to relocate staff. This case serves as a cautionary warning but does not blankly prevent any change in all circumstances.