The employees of a funeral directors are all called to a meeting. The management say that they have some news for some of them, and they may not like it.

The staff all meet, with trepidation, thinking they are going to lose their jobs; but even worse, they find out that there is going to be a TUPE transfer for some of them to the “other side”.

Shock horror!  How are they going to cope going into the unknown, what is going to be there for them, will they still be able to talk to their friends that they have made whilst working  in this realm?

The management say unfortunately it is beyond their control, they have had to sell their souls to the highest bidder, profits need to be maintained and this is the only way out.

When they reach the “other side” they will not notice any difference (the management say).  They will still be able to carry on as before, they promise, and it will be a good experience for them. There will be much to learn. They ask the staff not to talk about this to anyone as others may wish to go as well and there is only room for some.

The time comes when the staff have to face the TUPE transfer.  They say goodbye to their colleagues and prepare to turn up to work the next day hoping there will be no change.

The new employers say that they do not employ employees on the “other side” but they outsource employees back to earth to work as self employed for either their own companies or for themselves.

The employees take legal advice and are told that they should sue in respect of the failure of the vendor to inform and consult with them especially concerning the fact that the employer on the other side was going to dismiss them as they do not employ people on the “other side”.

However, the employees are warned that as a result of recent case law the fact that the employer on the “other side” does not employ people but offers them work as self employed for either their own companies or for themselves is an economic technical or organisational reason entailing changes in the workforce which is a good defence to an automatically unfair dismissal claim.