UK Government Announces Proposals to Reform TUPE


The UK Government has published its proposals to amend the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE), which implemented the Acquired Rights Directive in the UK. The consultation process regarding these proposals ends on 11 April 2013, with a view to the changes becoming effective in October 2013. The key proposed changes are summarised below with our comments.

Repeal of the service provision changes -

The most significant proposed change is to repeal the service provision change regulation which was brought into force by the previous Government in 2006. The service provision change regulation was intended to give job protection to employees working in Great Britain when the service provision changed to another contractor or when the services were outsourced or insourced. In these situations, TUPE resulted in the employees assigned to the services automatically transferring their employment contracts to the new service provider. This regulation gave certainty to employees in Great Britain over and above their counterparts in other European countries as the UK Government chose to implement a more definitive regulation on service provision changes than was required by the European Commission. This has been viewed as “gold-plating” the Acquired Rights Directive for employees assigned to services provided in Great Britain. The repeal of this provision will take businesses back to the uncertainties of the pre-2006 position, when complex legal and factual analysis was required as to whether a service provisio change constituted a transfer of an undertaking under TUPE.

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