The new TUPE Regulations come into force today, 31 January 2014
The key changes
For more detail on the changes to TUPE, see our previous HR Briefing - TUPE Regulations Published.
The key points are:
- Outsourcing, in-sourcing and changes of contractor are still caught by TUPE. The government had originally planned to remove so-called “service provision changes” from the scope of TUPE, but then decided to retain them in scope.
- There are greater opportunities to make contract changes after the transfer. Changes for reasons which are merely “connected with” the transfer are no longer automatically void and there is a new power to renegotiate collectively-agreed terms after 1 year. However, the limits to these new freedoms remain unclear. We will therefore need to wait for the courts to start drawing some clearer lines.
- Relocating the workforce after a transfer is now legally permissible.
- There is an option for the new employer to start consulting the workforce over collective redundancies before the transfer takes place. This option allows the redundancies to be implemented more quickly.
The changes apply to transfers on or after today, 31 January 2014. However, there are two key exceptions:
- The deadline for giving Employee Liability Information to a new employer is being brought forward from 14 days to 28 days before the transfer. The new deadline applies to transfers on or after 1 May 2014.
- There is a new exception allowing micro-businesses to inform and consult employees directly rather than electing representatives. This applies to transfers on or after 31 July 2014.
For more details on the scope of these two changes, see our previous HR Briefing - TUPE Regulations Published.
The Government has now published guidance to accompany the new TUPE regulations, which can be downloaded here.
The guidance covers all of TUPE, not just the provisions which have changed under new TUPE. It therefore reflects important recent case law (e.g. on when service provision changes are caught by TUPE) as well as providing a summary of the changes in the law made by new TUPE.
However, on the all-important question of making contractual changes, the guidance tends to acknowledge the lack of clarity rather than attempt to resolve it.
Support from EEF
EEF is running a series of half day seminars in May 2014 to take a practical look at operating within new TUPE. We will be looking at the key issues which come up in a transfer situation and exploring what you can do differently to make transfers work better for you.
More details and to book your place