The current TUPE consultation on the proposed changes of TUPE 2006 closes in April 2013. It is thought that by October 2013 changes will come into effect (or at least be clearly set out with a lengthy timetable for their introduction). It is likely that the changes will:
- repeal regulations relating to service provision changes (albeit subject to a lead in period of perhaps up to five years);
- remove the obligations to provide employee liability information 14 days prior to a transfer (albeit making it clear that parties to the transfer will still be obliged to disclose information to aid information and consultation);
- amend the provisions restricting changes to terms giving protection against dismissal and giving the right to resign in response to a substantial change in working conditions; and
- provide that “entailing changes in the workforce” include changes in the workforce location (not just function or numbers of the workforce).
TUPE always has created uncertainty in the minds of employers. The above changes may simplify TUPE in a legal sense, but practically areas which had been considered settled will be reopened to uncertainty. The changes may in some respects lessen administrative burdens on a TUPE transfer, but it will continue to be an area which attracts much litigation and confusion and the changes in our view do not go far enough to give the employers on both sides of a TUPE transfer the certainty that they want.
For further information, help or advice please contact our Employment Team on 0191 211 7777 or email [email protected].