The service provision chance (SPC) limb of TUPE does not apply where the activities are in connection with “a single specific event or task of short-term duration”. There have been conflicting EAT views as to whether this only applies when events are short-term as well as tasks. Most recently the EAT considered that the “short-term” requirement did not apply to events but that single events would by definition be short-term in any case. It considered that activities in connection with events would be excluded from the SPC provisions however long the activities themselves – note that this conflicts with government guidance on the issue and may be open to challenge. In this case, a 12-month contract to transport children while their usual school was rebuilt was in connection with a short-term task and therefore excluded from the SPC provisions. (Liddell’s Coaches v Cook, EAT)

The SPC limb also only applies if the activities to be performed by the new contractor are fundamentally or essentially the same as those performed by the original contractor. The EAT has ruled that, although a planned significant reduction in work can mean the activities are viewed as different, this will not be the case where the same service is being provided but to a lower standard. Here a local authority took a service fulfilling a statutory duty back in house when the expected new contractor pulled out. Although it only had the resource to provide a skeleton service such that some functions of the service were neglected, the activities remained the same, ie to fulfil the statutory duty. (London Borough of Islington v Bannon, EAT)