Amendments to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) Regulations 2006 come into force on the 31 January 2014.
This is a complex and often misunderstood piece of legislation – whether or not these changes make it any easier for employers to understand is yet to be seen…
Here are some key points to be aware of in addition to previous blogs we have posted about this:
1. Rulings regarding changing Employees’ Terms and Conditions have been amended so that changes for “reasons connected to the transfer” are no longer automatically invalid, however the definition of what might be solely due to the transfer and what might be simply “connected ” to it is not straightforward and we suggest obtaining legal advice in this situation.
2. Redundancy dismissals are already not automatically unfair if they are for Economic, Technical or Organisational (ETO) reasons entailing changes in the workforce even if those dismissals are due to the transfer of undertakings. With effect from the end of this month that definition of “entailing changes” is extended to include a change in location of the workplace.
3. The incoming employer (the transferee) will now be able to carry out some or possibly even all of any required redundancy consultations with transferring employees prior to the transfer taking place.
4. Where there is a service provision change (eg a business changes cleaning or catering contractors) the TUPE regulations will only apply if the activities before and after the transfer are “fundamentally the same” – this is quite a complex change and we would recommend anyone who thinks this might apply seeks legal advice prior to starting a business transfer.
5. Changes in Terms and Conditions that were previously made by collective agreement can now be renegotiated one year after the transfer, provided that overall the contract remains no less favourable to employees.
6. Business with fewer than 10 employees will no longer need to invite the election of representatives for consultation purposes and can simply consult with employees directly