Between the Lines: Industry needs a TUPE test

The IPA will be hoping that the battle between Euro RSCG London and McCann Erickson over TUPE (page 1) ends up in court.

The industry desperately needs a legal test case for the legislation, which has so far proven so impenetrable that three sets of IPA lawyers have failed to establish where the industry stands. Key to the issue is a ruling on the wording "predominantly" and what portion of an employee's working hours that term means.

Meanwhile, the irony of TUPE won't be lost on those caught up in this, or any future cases. The very people the law was designed to protect - the employees - are those left most vulnerable in such cases.

McCann has a legal obligation to inform staff who worked predominantly on Reckitt that they may have a case under TUPE for continuity of employment at Euro. However, while Euro is contesting this case, the staff involved find themselves in limbo, forced to wait for an industrial tribunal to decide with whom the responsibility for their salaries or redundancy payments lies.