Rightly or wrongly TUPE is often regarded as an unnecessary burden on business. Unsurprisingly, it featured in the Government’s recent ‘Cut EU red tape’ report. In the latest Penningtons Manches’ employer survey following a head to head debate between employment partners, Tom Walker and Sally Nesbitt, almost two thirds (62%) of respondents voted for its abolition.
However, 90% agreed that there should be a watered down protection based on existing redundancy law for employees moving from one company to another. Two thirds also agreed that any new regulations should have a more user friendly name than ‘Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations.’
Debate winner, Tom Walker, argued that, while TUPE had been ‘great’, it had not met the needs of a dynamic, global economy in which companies have to be fast and flexible. “I have seen time and time again TUPE disrupt and damage business transfers, including rescues of failing businesses that were designed to ensure jobs are saved.
“In its place there needs to be a tweak to the Employment Rights Act to ensure that, following the transfer of a business, any jobs that are required in the new company should be offered to the affected employees just as if these were vacancies arising in an internal reorganisation.”
Sally Nesbitt argued that: “TUPE laws have already been relaxed to ensure that employers have more flexibility to change the terms and conditions of transferring employees and to dismiss them in appropriate circumstances. Abolition of existing laws will only encourage further exploitation of UK labour and undermine the safeguarding of employees’ rights in the event of business transfers.”
Click here to read the full head to head TUPE debate.