Proposed TUPE Changes

By October 9, 2013Legal Update
Skyscrapers from the ground

In response to consultation on the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) the changes that are due in January 2014 are to make sure both employers and employees are treated fairly when a transfer takes place.

The driving force behind the planned change is to help smaller firms that have been put off bidding for contracts that would help them to grow because they do not want to take on the additional employees that come with them. It said the reforms aim to remove ‘unnecessary gold-plating’ from the TUPE regulations and reduce ‘burdens’ on growing businesses removing unfair legal risks, while ensuring employees continue to be treated fairly.

But employment lawyers are already warning companies that while the reforms will give them greater scope to avoid TUPE being brought into play, it is not guaranteed that the regulations will always be circumvented. There will still be the possibility that workers who lose their jobs as a result of a contract being transferred will be able to take the new contract owner to tribunal.

The main changes due in January 2014 are:

  • Allow renegotiation of terms agreed from collective agreements one year after transfer, provided any changes are no less favourable to employees.
  • The location of a workforce can be within the scope of an economic, technical or organisation reason entailing changes in the workforce, thus preventing genuine place of work redundancies from being automatically unfair.
  • Clarify that for there to be a TUPE service provision change, the service provision must be ‘fundamentally or essentially the same’ as before the transfer.
  • Allowing micro businesses to inform and consult directly with employees.
  • (in some circumstances) allowing TUPE consultation to satisfy collective redundancy consultation rules.
  • Increasing the time for providing employee liability information from 14 days to 28 days.

However, the changes are not covering:

  • Removing ‘service provision change’ from what amounts to a TUPE transfer.
  • Removing the transferor’s obligation to provide employee liability information.

HR Solutions are experts when it comes to the TUPE process. Call us on 0844 324 5840 or contact us online for more information.

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