Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

This case concerns a transfer of a window-cleaning contract (and therefore the employees engaged on that contract) from company A to company B. Company B refused to employ the employees engaged on the contract on their original terms but offered alternative employment prior to their dismissal. The employees refused and claimed that they were unfairly dismissed because of the TUPE transfer. They succeeded but company B appealed on the basis that the Employment Tribunal had failed to adequately consider whether the employees had reasonably refused to accept alternative employment. The Employment Appeal Tribunal rejected the appeal, stating that the Tribunal had 1) had reference to a wide range of circumstances in determining that the refusal was reasonable and 2) that the employees were under no duty to mitigate as the alternative employment had been offered prior to their dismissal.

The facts in F & G Cleaners v Saddington & Ors

Mr Saddington, Mr Oliver and a number of other persons (“the Claimants”) were employed by Actual Support Services Ltd (“Actual”) to provide services on a window-cleaning contract for the London Borough of Redbridge (“Redbridge”). In 2008 Redbridge re-tendered the contract and F & G Cleaners Ltd (“F & G”) successfully tendered for the contract. Actual then supplied information to F & G as to the nature of the terms of employment of its employees. F & G was suspicious of this and believed that Actual were inflating the value of the contracts of employment. It asked for further information from Actual prior to the handover date of 1 August 2008 but none was forthcoming. On 8 August 2008 Mrs Oliver asked F & G about her husband’s employment situation. F & G responded by stating that Mr Oliver had never and did not work for them. However, on 12 August a manager of F & G’s met with the Claimants and discussed alternative employment – ostensibly on the basis of a CIS contract (which would have meant that the Claimants were self-employed) instead of the contracts of employment they had previously worked under. This would have meant a reduction in their daily wage, a change to their working week, and a change to their holiday entitlement. The Claimants refused this offer and subsequently issued a claim in the Employment Tribunal for TUPE-related unfair dismissal.

The Tribunal found that the TUPE transfer of employment was the principal reason for the Claimants’ dismissal and that the Claimants had been automatically unfairly dismissed. F & G appealed on the basis that the Employment Tribunal had erred in not considering whether the Claimants had taken reasonable steps to mitigate their loss.

The law relating to mitigation of loss in TUPE unfair dismissal cases

It is well-established that dismissed employees have a duty to mitigate their loss (by finding new employment). A failure to mitigate loss can occur in the following circumstances:

  1. If the Claimant unreasonably fails to look for new employment; and/or
  2. If the Claimant unreasonably refuses an offer of work

We’ll be looking in this post at the second element, the refusal of alternative employment. If the Claimant refuses an offer of work (whether this offer is from their old employer or from a new third party) then their refusal must be reasonable in all the circumstances. What, therefore, affects the reasonableness of a decision to refuse an offer of alternative employment? The Tribunal will consider the following:

  1. The circumstances in which the offer was made and refused;
  2. The attitude of the employer;
  3. The way in which the Claimant had been treated; and
  4. All the surrounding circumstances

The Employment Appeal Tribunal’s judgment in F & G Cleaners v Saddington & Ors

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) considered that the Claimants had not unreasonably failed to accept an offer of alternative employment from F & G after the TUPE transfer. F & G’s contention was that the Tribunal had erred in deciding that the Claimant’s rejection of the offer was unreasonable as they would have lost their statutory rights. The EAT rejected this argument and found that the Tribunal had had reference to a wider set of considerations in determining that the refusal to accept the offer, including the nature of the contract that they would have been engaged on, the daily wage that they would have received, and their holiday entitlement (among other things). Further, the Claimants had not been dismissed at the time of the offer of the alternative employment (prior to 1 August 2008) and that the Claimants therefore had no duty to mitigate their loss.

Our specialist employment lawyers’ thoughts on F & G Cleaners v Saddington & Ors

This is an interesting case although we’re not quite sure as to why, firstly, this case went all the way to the Employment Tribunal and, further, why F & G insisted on appealing, unless there was some disagreement between the parties as to whether the failure to mitigate was a substantive issue throughout.

Redmans offer TUPE advice for employers and are also offer no win no fee unfair dismissal representation

About Chris Hadrill

Chris is a specialist employment lawyer at Redmans. He specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including breach of contract claims, compromise agreements and Employment Tribunal cases. He writes on employment law matters on a variety of websites, including Direct 2 Lawyers, Lawontheweb.co.uk, LegalVoice, the Justice Gap and his own blog. Contact Chris by emailing him at chadrill@redmans.co.uk

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry


    4.80 Average

    320 Reviews


    Efficient and quick service!

    Posted 2 days ago

    Karen B

    Quick response very helpful Issue raised dealt with very quickly

    Posted 5 days ago

    Carmen T

    Redmans give Great service and advice on reading contracts. They can explain all the solicitors jargon into words that you can understand. I received excellent service an I will use them again and again.

    Posted 1 week ago


    Very grateful for Mel’s efforts in handling my case from start to finish which I would have found very stressful without it. She was very professional, friendly and we had a positive outcome. Highly recommend.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Nalin W

    Mel Chin was my Legal Executive when I engaged the services of Redmans Solicitors to help with a redundancy matter. She was incredibly approachable and professional from start to finish. Specially I have to mention regarding prompt reply to all my email queries, It was super quick. I would thoroughly recommend Mel Chin. Many Thanks

    Posted 1 month ago


    I'd highly recommend Redmans Solicitors. Mel was very helpful and assisted me throughout my case.

    Posted 1 month ago


    Sacha was very thorough and very helpful, with great advice on when to act and when to wait on my case.

    Posted 1 month ago


    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 1 month ago


    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 1 month ago


    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 1 month ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Paul L

    Sacha was extremely helpful in my matter. I would not hesitate you use Sacha or Redmonds again. Everyone was very helpful.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Monique N

    I had Mel Chin helping me with a settlement and she was very professional and reliable throughout my case. Mel provided me with a good understanding of what was happening and gave suggestions on routes I could take. My case was resolved and closed promptly although the opposing side were very difficult to deal with. A very big thank you to Mel and Chris.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Jackie C

    My first ever experience needing the services of a solicitor; cannot speak highly enough of Mel and Chris’s personable, reassuring and straight to the point advice in dealing with my settlement agreement. They put me at ease during an extremely stressful time. I am equally as happy with the outcome, as l am their professional services.

    Posted 2 months ago


    Really happy with the service. All very efficient. Mel rattled through things very fast, however was great whenever I needed to stop and ask a question! Would definitely return to Redmans if I ever needed Legal advice.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Peter F

    Very helpful and clear advice, would highly recommend.

    Posted 2 months ago

    William A

    Second time I have had to use Redmans. They did not disappoint. They are fast , efficient and friendly. I have already recommended them to friends and colleagues. I hope I dont have to use them again but if I have to , they are the solicitors for me.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Fleeta C

    Great service with tantastic communications. The solicitor responsible is extremely knowledgeable and was responsible for bringing a timely and desired solution.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Veronica M

    Extremely helpful, starting from a request for advice at very short notice, to dedicating time for me to understand and review all documents thoroughly.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Sophie R

    Very efficient and professional service. Chris was very empathetic, knowledgeable and personable. Highly recommended.

    Posted 2 months ago