On 17 January 2013, the government issued a consultation on a number of proposed changes to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).
The most significant was the repeal of the regulations relating to "Service Provision Changes".
Other proposals included:
- Removing the obligation to provide employee liability information;
- Amending 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, in each case to reflect the wording of the underlying Directive and/or ECJ case law more closely.
- Providing that "entailing changes in the workforce" includes changes to the workforce's location.
- Enabling the transferee to consult with the transferring employees on collective redundancies prior to the transfer.
The Government consulted about these proposals and, on 5th September 2013, published its response to the consultation. The most significant developments are:
- The current provisions relating to Service Provision Change will now remain. However, the legislation will clarify that, for there to be a Service Provision Change, the activities carried on after the change must be “fundamentally or essentially the same” as those carried on before it.
- The obligation to provide Employer Liability Information will remain, with a longer timeframe (28 days as opposed to 14).
- Change of location will be an ETO reason.
It has been indicated by the Government that the wording of the legislation has not yet been finalised and it hopes to lay the draft legislation before Parliament in December. BIS has confirmed that the changes are likely to come into force in January 2014, subject to transitional provisions.
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