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As part of our series of articles looking at the impact of a potential Brexit on employers and their legal obligations, Dan Peyton looks at what might happen to TUPE legislation.
As we await the outcome of the Brexit vote on 23 June, there will be much crystal ball gazing about the possible effects of a vote to leave, particularly among employment lawyers.
This is because much of our domestic employment legislation is driven by the EU, and so it seems to be one of the areas naturally suited to post-Brexit reform in the event that there is a vote to leave.
Since its 1981 inception, The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) has been a bugbear for both advisers and their clients.
TUPE represents the UK implementation of the Acquired Rights Directive 2001/23 EC. It transfers employees’ rights connected to their contracts of employment (including their statutory rights and the employer's liabilities) when there has been a transfer of undertakings or a service provision change. As such, it is a statutory intervention designed to protect employee rights.
There are aspects of TUPE that can cause consternation, particularly among non-EU based businesses that are not accustomed to the restrictions it imposes on what can be done in respect of transferring employees and the formalities required of the parties to a transfer.
Among these issues are: the scope of TUPE and the wide variety of transactions it captures; the effects of the autom