DTI publishes new TUPE guidance
The DTI has issued guidance on the new Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations (TUPE), due to come into force on 6 April.
The scope of the regulations has been widened so that outsourcing and insourcing will be covered by TUPE.
These situations are described as 'service provision changes' and examples include contracts to provide services, such as office cleaning, catering and security. The regulations provide for an exception where the service provision is on a one-off basis of 'short-term duration'.
There is a new duty for the transferor employer to provide information to the new employer (preferably in writing) about the transferring employees before the relevant transfer takes place. This includes:
the identity and age of all of the employees who will transfer
the information contained in their 'statements of employment particulars'
details of any disciplinary action or grievances in the previous two years
details of actual or potential legal actions brought by the employees in the previous two years.
The government originally intended that that this information should be provided 'in good time' before the transfer.
However, the DTI guidance states that the requirement is for the information to be provided 'at least two weeks before the completion of the transfer'.
The regulations also contain special provisions which make it easier for insolvent businesses to be transferred to new employers.
For instance, the provisions provide that some of the transferor's pre-existing debts to the employees do not pass to the transferee, such as statutory redundancy pay, pay arrears, payments in lieu of notice and holiday pay.
The regulations also clarify the circumstances where it is unfair for employers to dismiss employees for reasons connected with a transfer.
For the full guidance goto www.dti.gov.uk/er/individual/tupeguide2006regs.pdf