After many months of waiting, the DTI has published its consultation paper on amendments to the TUPE Regulations. The consultation period lasts until 15th December 2001.
The main proposals, on which views are sought, are:
• options for new rules as to when TUPE applies, particularly in contracting-out cases;
• proposals for better protection of occupational pension rights;
• greater flexibility when applying the Regulations to transfers of insolvent businesses, to make it more attractive for potential buyers to rescue those businesses and save jobs (including that some - albeit limited - liabilities of insolvent transferors be met from the DTI National Insurance Fund);
• better guidance for both employees and employers on the extent of protection against transfer-related dismissals - in particular, clarifying the 'ETO' defence;
• making it clear that TUPE does not preclude transfer-related changes to terms and conditions, where the changes are made for an ETO reason; and,
• a legal requirement for the old employer (transferor) to give the new employer (transferee) proper notification about the rights and obligations being transferred.
The full consultation document, and information about the consultation process, can be found at http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/tupe/consult.htm.
[Thanks to Simon Jeffreys of CMS Cameron McKenna for notifying me of this news item]