In LOM Management Ltd v Sweeney, the EAT held that TUPE will only apply to the assignment of a commercial lease where that assignment is intrinsically linked to the transfer of an identifiable economic entity.
Miss Sweeney was employed part-time in her father’s bar as Duty Manager. While she was away on holiday, the lease of the bar premises was assigned to LOM Management Ltd. On her return, she discovered from LOM Management Ltd that she no longer had a job. The fact that there had been a transfer of a commercial lease led the employment tribunal to conclude that TUPE applied.
The EAT held that the tribunal had not applied the law correctly. It should have considered whether an economic entity existed which was intrinsically linked to the property, which transferred in whole or part to LOM Management Ltd and which retained its identity after the assignation of the lease. This involved looking at all relevant arrangements, agreements and circumstances. The only relevant fact found here was that there was an assignation of a lease, which was an insufficient basis to establish that TUPE applied.