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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 57230
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Looking for advice on employment law Assistant: Was this

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Looking for advice on employment law
Assistant: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Not discussed with lawyer yet, however have a feeling we may need to get legal counsel. The manager has not been helpful and they don't really have a HR department.
Assistant: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: just with employees, does not have a union. Will use contractors sometimes to come and fix stuff if it's broken etc.
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I take it I just tell my 'story' to you online and get advice? How much is it, never done anything like this before.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Please explain your situation in a bit more detail

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
My husband has worked for his company as a head chef for 23.5 years and on Thursday 13th September the owner came into the restaurant and advised that it was closing and the last day of trading was Saturday 15th September. They advised him that they wanted to find alternative employment for him and the owner called him on Monday 17th to say that they were looking at jobs in 3 of the other restaurants so my husband asked for them in writing as he was not provided any information such as job titles etc. We received an e-mail on Thursday 20th that just offered 'roles' in 2 restaurants so we e-mailed back and asked what the roles were etc, however have had no response as yet. The area manager called my husband last night to tell him to work in another restaurant and my husband advised him that as we were still waiting on clarification on his employment that he wasn't able to. What are our rights as the restaurant has closed and we are no further forward. Also the building that my husbands restaurant was in was owned by his employers and they have leased it out to another restaurant. Does TUPE apply?

Is the new restaurant relatively similar?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Would say so. My husband worked for an italian restaurant and the new one is american. They will sell similar dishes such burgers and pizza.

TUPE could indeed apply in this situation, in a sense that his employment is likely to transfer to the new restaurant. It is probably best to explain this by borrowing a practice note from a law fir which discussed this in one of their legal updates:

“TUPE might apply when a business is sold that includes a commercial property which has employees employed in or in relation to it. TUPE could also apply on the sale of a commercial property, the sale of a property subject to a service occupancy, the grant or assignment of a lease to a new tenant, the surrender or forfeiture of a lease, the grant of a sub lease to a new subtenant, where the landlord assumes activities for the property, and where tenants acquire the right to manage the freehold of a property.

Example: A landlord decides to accept a surrender of a lease in which a restaurant is operated. He decides to continue to operate the restaurant himself. TUPE will apply to protect the employees employed in the restaurant and transfer their employment to the landlord.”

You can also read this to apply to situations where the business transfers to a new owner.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
His current employer has not mentioned transferring him over. Would my next steps be going to a lawyer as technically his role is no longer available and we are still not aware of what is happening next regarding his employment?

I suggest approaching the employer first and advising them of their legal obligations, plus what you may do if they do not honour them, such as going to tribunal. If there is no resolution you can then consider going to a lawyer or direct to tribunal

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