Celtec Limited v Astley and others: HL 10 Nov 2003

The employments of civil servants had been transferred to the defendant company. There had been some delay between their resignations and the new arrangements. The employee claimed the protection of the directive, saying that there had been a transfer of an undertaking, with employees, premises and database. It was said that the Regulations failed properly to implement the directive, having allowed ambiguity about the need for a single point for a transfer.
Held: The question should be referred to the European Court of Justice, and also the Court should be asked how such a single time be identified.


Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Steyn, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry


House of Lords


Council Directive 77/187/EEC, Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees) Regulations 1981 (SI 1981 No 1794)


England and Wales


Appeal fromJ Astley and others v Celtec Ltd CA 19-Jul-2002
Civil servants had been transferred to Training and Enterprise Councils in 1990, and resigned from the Civil Service in 1993. They appealed a decision that there had not been a transfer of an undertaking, and that they had continuity of employment. . .
At EATCeltec Limited v John Astley Julie Owens, Deborah Lynn Hawkes EAT 5-Oct-2001
The employer appealed a finding that there had been continuity of employment between itself and a previous employer. The employees had sought a statement as to their terms of employment. The employer was a training and enterprise council, to whom . .

Cited by:

First House of LordsNorth Wales Training and Enterprise Council Ltd v Astley and others HL 21-Jun-2006
Civil servants had been transferred to a private company. At first they worked under secondment from the civil service. They asserted that they had protection under TUPE and the Acquired Rights Directive. The respondent said that there had only been . .
HL referenceCeltec Ltd v John Astley and Others ECJ 26-May-2005
Europa Directive 77/187/EEC – Article 3(1) – Safeguarding of employees’ rights in the event of transfers of undertakings – Transferor’s rights and obligations arising from a contract of employment or from an . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, European

Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.187761