TUPE ruling could affect any redundancies in HP case

The fate of Porter Novelli staff working on the HP account may hinge on a long-running court case that has been frustrating and captivating the industry in equal measure.

Wild Card PR has been contesting an employment tribunal ruling, which ruled that it should have taken on Karis Hunt, a former account manager at Storm Communications. The tribunal had ruled Hunt had the right to follow her client Brown Brothers Wines to Wild Card.

But the case finally drew to a close this week as Wild Card withdrew its appeal. Wild Card MD Kate Wild said: ‘We had to take the financial decision to call it a day. The case will have an effect on every pitch and new business process.’

Employment law consultancy Irenicon’s director Christopher Head said: ‘The majority of the employee-related costs in a transfer are not the problem of the agency which loses the account. It is the agency which acquires the business that acquires most of the liabilities towards the staff.’

PRCA director general and MD Francis Ingham has condemned the legislation and urged the Government to step in to provide clearer guidelines: ‘The area is confused and uncertain.’

The original case saw Hunt win an unfair dismissal claim under the recently amended Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations, more commonly known as TUPE.

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