The coalition government launched a consultation exercise in November 2011 seeking views upon the effectiveness of TUPE. At that time, there was a feeling that TUPE:
- was too bureaucratic
- was wider than required by European law
- was unclear.
Following the consultation, various changes are due to come into force. A brief summary follows:
a) The law on service provision changes will make it clear that for TUPE to apply in a service provision change case, the activities carried on after the SPC must be fundamentally or essentially the same.
b) Transferring (incoming) employers will be able to change terms and conditions of employment that come from collective agreements after one year has elapsed since the transfer, so long as overall the terms are no less favourable.
c) Outgoing employers will have to provide information about the employees who will be transferring to a new employer 28 days before a transfer, rather than 14 days before which is the current position. This change will take effect from 1st May 2014.
d) The law on the limited circumstances when dismissals can take place (known as ETO reasons) will be clarified to make it clear that a redundancy based upon place of work can be a fair reason for a dismissal in a TUPE situation.
e) Micro businesses (10 employees or less) will be allowed to inform and consult employees about a TUPE transfer, rather than having to carry out an election process for employee representatives to be elected. This change will take effect from 31st July 2014.
Unless otherwise stated, these changes will come into force on 31st January 2014.
If you have any questions about these changes, or the TUPE regulations in general, please contact employment lawyer Andrew Buckley in Bedford on 01234 270600.