The Law Society has dismissed government plans to repeal the 2006 Transfer of Undertakings, Protection of Employment (TUPE) regulations on the transfer of ‘service provision’ from one employer to another, arguing that the change would lead to commercial and legal uncertainty and more tribunal disputes.
The Society also dismissed the government’s claim that the 2006 amendments had ‘gold-plated’ the regulations and that repealing them would benefit all parties.
The Society’s employment law committee, in its response to proposals in a department for Business, Innovation & Skills consultation, said that the 2006 regulations were introduced to make it clear what should happen when labour intensive activities – ‘service provision’ – is transferred to a new company.
Repealing the regulations would return the law to the pre-2006 position, with increased litigation and ‘increased burdens on employers, claimant employees and the tribunal system’, the committee said.
Committee chair Angharad Harris said: ‘The government has mistakenly labelled clarity as "gold plating". Repealing the 2006 amendments would only increase uncertainty, and thus the number of disputes. Businesses and employees both want certainty.’
The committee also rejected the proposal to repeal the ‘employee liability information requirements’, saying that they should rather be ‘retained and expanded’ so that employees are in full possession of the facts and the transfer process can be completed smoothly.
The committee agreed that the transferor (the employer transferring the service) should give more information to the transferee (the employer receiving the service) so that the latter fully understands the liabilities that it is inheriting.