In the meantime, the DTI has published its official guidance on the new TUPE regulations. The main changes in the Regulations from the existing 1981 version are as follows:
- a widening of the scope of the Regulations to make it clearer that outsourcing and insourcing (known as 'service provision changes') will be covered by TUPE. It appears from p10 of the Guidance that there will be an exception where the service provision is a "one-off" service provision "of short-term duration"
- a new duty on the transferor to provide 'employee liability information' to the transferee (see p22 of Guidance Notes). This include
o the information contacted in their statutory statement of particulars of employment
o details of any disciplinary action or grievances in the previous two years
o details of actual or potential legal action brought by the employees in the previous two years
- The transferee can complain to a tribunal if the transferor fails to provide this information, and the tribunal can order the transferor to award compensation for any loss suffered by the transferee (with a minimum award of £500 per employee unless it is unjust to do award the minimum)
- special provisions making it easier for insolvent businesses to be transferred to new employers
- clarifying the ability of employers and employees to agree variations to contracts of employment, when the reason for the variation is an "economic, technical or organisational reason"
- provisions clarifying the circumstances under which it is unfair for employers to dismiss employees for reasons connected with a transfer.
I will be running a web/telephone seminar on the new TUPE regulations later in the year - watch this space for details.
Click here for DTI Guidance Notes (large .pdf document)