As solicitors we get asked questions every day and many times they are the same questions from different people. In the Ask Eleanor blog I will be answering some of the questions that I have been asked a lot, or have overheard whilst out and about. Hopefully I’ll be debunking a few legal myths in the process and you can get the answers you want to find!
“My employer’s selling the company to someone I don’t like, shall I just say no?”
When a business is taken over, employment contracts are automatically passed to the new employer under TUPE regulations. An employee can object to the transfer of employment but this can have disastrous consequences.
Employees who have worked for an employer for one year if employed before April 2012 or two years if employed after can bring claims to the employment tribunal if they believe they have been unfairly dismissed or forced to quit their jobs. This could include the new employer in a TUPE situation firing someone because they want to bring in their own employees instead of keeping on the old staff, or demanding changes to contracts which put an employee in a worse position than they were under the previous employee.
If an employee thinks something like this might happen, they often object to being transferred. However, if an employee objects to the transfer to either the original or new employer, his contract is automatically immediately terminated. This means he has no right to claim unfair dismissal.
To avoid being caught in this trap, an employee who has enough continuity of service would be much better off accepting the transfer and then claiming unfair dismissal when his fears of negative treatment come true.
In some cases, though, an employee might use the immediate termination to his advantage. If they have a new job offer lined up and their current contract means they have to work a long notice period, a TUPE objection would eliminate this obligation. In this case, he just needs to make sure he objects before the transfer takes place.
Eleanor Robinson is a trainee solicitor with Edward Hands and Lewis based within the Leicester office and Commercial property department. If you would like to contact Eleanor click here
Andrew is a Commercial & Employment Law solicitor in Leicester. Our Solicitors in Leicester are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Leicester please contact us.
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