Hewitt outlines plans for less threatening rules on rights

Trade
and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt has unveiled new proposals to improve
the law covering employees’ rights when the employer they work for transfers to
a different company.

Hewitt
told delegates at the TUC’s annual conference that the proposals, which are
still subject to consultation, are designed to make the process of business
restructuring and public sector modernisation less threatening for employees
and easier to operate for employers.

The
main proposals include new rules on when changes to the Transfer of
Undertakings Protection of Employment regulations apply, especially in cases
where services are contracted out.

Hewitt
said the proposals would offer better protection of employees’ pension rights
and greater flexibility when applying the regulations to transfers of insolvent
businesses.

"Workers
need reassurance that their rights will be safeguarded in the vital process of
public sector reform and in business restructuring in the private sector,"
she said.

Hewitt
also said  the DTI would support the
manufacturing sector wherever possible and stressed that achieving higher UK
productivity will be one of the Government’s priorities during its second term.

Ben
Willmott

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