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Government Publishes TUPE Consultation

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) ensure, amongst other things, that if a business is sold or transferred, all the employees’ contracts of employment are automatically transferred to the purchaser or transferee.

The Regulations were revised in 2006 in order to improve their operation. In particular, coverage was extended to service contracting operations, such as cleaning services, so that employers and employees would know where they stood from the outset of an ownership transfer. However, amidst concerns that the TUPE Regulations 2006 do not achieve what they were designed to do and claims by businesses that they are overly burdensome and bureaucratic and unhelpfully ‘gold-plate’ the implementation of the EU Acquired Rights Directive, in November 2011 the Government issued a call for evidence on proposed changes to the Regulations and duly published its response in September 2012.

As a result, a consultation has now been published seeking views on a number of proposed changes to the Regulations. These include:

  • repealing the provision that brings most service provision changes within the scope of the legislation;
  • repealing the requirements regarding employee liability information; and
  • changing the wording of the provisions restricting changes to contracts, those giving protection against dismissal and those concerning a substantial change in working conditions to the material detriment of the employee so that they more closely reflect the wording of the Directive and case law of the Court of Justice of the EU.

The full consultation can be found here.

Consultation closes on 11 April 2013.