The Government recently carried out a consultation on the ways in which the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) could be amended so as to support the flexibility of the UK labour market.
On the 5th September the Government published its response to this consultation. Important developments from this response are:
• The current provisions relating to service provisions will remain.
However, the legislation will clarify that, for there to be a service provision change, the activities carried on after the change must be “fundamentally or essentially the same” as those carried on before it. Most businesses had hoped that the reform of TUPE would see the removal of the complicated and cumbersome service provision rules.
• The obligation to provide employee liability information will remain, with a longer timeframe. This will be increased to no later than 28 days before the relevant transfer (up from the current 14 days).
• Change of location will be an ETO reason.
• To allow for renegotiation of terms agreed from collective agreements one year after transfer, provided any changes are no less favourable to employees.
• To amend certain provisions of the regulations so that they more closely reflect the terms of the Acquired Rights Directive.
The Government hopes to lay the draft regulations before Parliament in December. BIS has confirmed that the changes are likely to come into force in January 2014.
Once the Regulations are published, I will provide an update on the full extent of the changes.
Helen Phillips, Solicitor, Just Employment Solicitors.