Unexpected Changes in TUPE Reform

Having postponed potential implementation from September 2013 to January 2014, it would now appear that the changes to the TUPE regulations are unlikely to be as impactful as first thought.

The new revisions are due to be put before Parliament during December and will not include a repeal of the service provision change provisions. This is most unexpected but may well bring about a sigh of relief from certain professions and industry as the previous changes in 2006 where the service provision change provisions were seen to bring clarity to a notoriously complex area of employment law. Nonetheless there is likely to be disappointment from other areas who would have welcomed return of the previous state of play as there was not always the necessary to transfer across employees from provider to provider where service contracts changed. Also potential costs to new contractors could be considerably lower where they could run contracts for example, with existing staff and/or without the need to undertake and pay for redundancies.

Other changes to be presented are as follows:

  • Employee liability information will remain part of the process and will be required 28 days prior to transfer instead of the current 14 days.
  • Contractual changes in some circumstances will be allowed as long as they are not ‘by reason of the transfer’ and as long as there is an ETO reason.
  • Collectively agreed terms will ‘freeze at the point of transfer.
  • Collectively agreed terms will freeze at the point of transfer and may be open to renegotiation after one year
  • Change of location will be an ETO reason.
  • Collective redundancy consultation pre transfer will be valid and will count and collective consultation will be removed for organisation of 10 employees or fewer.

Even with these overall welcome clarifications and flexibilities, TUPE will undoubtedly present many challenges to us all.

For futher advice and guidance, please contact Wendy Twydell on 0800 542 7550 or by email at [email protected]

 

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