New regulations that may reduce transfer of undertakings protection of employment (TUPE) rights have been delayed to September, it emerged this week.

The new regulations, which had been due for publication in July, arise from a Department for Business, Innovation & Skills consultation that began at the beginning of this year and considers the future of the service provision change (SPC) rules introduced in 2006. The Law Society’s employment law committee has been vociferous in its opposition to changing the SPC rules, as have many practitioners.

Dr John McMullen, partner at Yorkshire firm Wrigleys, said: ‘Repealing the SPC rules will return the law to the state of affairs prior to 2006, which was an era of uncertainty in the application of TUPE to outsourcing. Litigation has definitely diminished since the introduction of the SPC rules and many consider the law to be much more straightforward than was previously the case.’

The Law Society’s response to the consultation argued that repealing the 2006 amendments would increase litigation, and that the prescriptive nature of the employee liability obligation was the best way to ensure efficient transfers. It also said that it would be helpful for the categories of employee liability information to be expanded.