Potential changes to TUPE

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The Transfer of Undertakings Regulations is one of the most complex areas of employment law and can lead to confusion and frustration for smaller employer’s wishing to transfer staff. Regulation 11 of TUPE requires an employer who is transferring employees to provide certain limited employee liability information 14 days before a TUPE transfer. The regulation is often overlooked and can be redundant in that in business transfers due diligence will be carried out which already covers the employee liability information. This element of TUPE is expected to be changed or withdrawn under new proposals which are shortly to be published.

Another frustration for micro businesses is the requirement to inform and consult employee representatives on the TUPE transfer rather than being able to consult directly with all affected employees. In business of 10 or under this can be a frustration for employers and often an artificial task in those employer representatives are required to be elected and consulted. Changes that are likely to be proposed will allow employers to inform and consult all employees direct.

Other changes to TUPE include removing the provisions relating to service provision changes and allowing employers to carry out collective redundancy consultation during the TUPE consultation process.

Formal proposals are due to be put forward shortly and may come into effect as early as January 2014.

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