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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10955
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am treasurer of a local Church. past 12 years the

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I am treasurer of a local Church. For the past 12 years the Church has used the services of a cleaning company which provided a cleaner for 7 hrs a week initially but then changed to 2 cleaners for 3.5hrs each. The company billed the Church monthly for their service. It also provided all cleaning materials and equipment. The church has become dissatisfied with the standard of cleaning and complained several times. The company has now decided to increase its charge so the church decided that they wished to terminate the contract. The cleaning company responded that TUPE regulations would apply in respect of 1 of the 2 cleaners but that the other did not wish to transfer. What is the Church's position if (a) It enters into a contract with another company or (b) If the cleaning is carried out voluntarily by Church Members.
J E Jones
1. Dear *****, the first thing is that if the cleaning contract is immediately given to a different company, then the TUPE regulations apply and the worker who is amenable to the transfer under the Regulations must be hired by the new company. This in practice means that when you are hiring a new cleaning company, you will have to state to them that there is an existing worker who needs to be hired as part of the award of the contract. So what is charged will depend upon what the existing worker is being paid plus whatever the new company deem appropriate given that they are now hiring a worker when getting the contract.
2. Secondly, there is nothing to stop the church members carrying out the cleaning voluntarily. In such a case a new contract would not be awarded and the TUPE regulations would not apply. However, the voluntary cleaning should be carried out over a period of at least two years or more. Finally, I would suggest to the Church members that it may be most appropriate to hire the worker who is subject to TUPE directly and get her to charge her hourly rate to the Church and to continue to clean the Church by direct labour and avoid the expense of a cleaning company. This might require the provision of materials to the cleaner. However, it would be the cheapest option and would avoid entanglement with the TUPE regulations.
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