Solicitor says businesses will benefit from changes to TUPE rules

A Worcestershire employment solicitor says that new TUPE laws which come into force on 1 July will cut red tape and relieve businesses of many complex and timely processes.

Sally Morris, partner and head of employment and HR Services at law firm mfg Solicitors, said employers across the county need to be aware of the changes to TUPE (Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations), which provides protection for employees in certain circumstances including when a business is sold and which also requires an employer to “inform and consult” affected staff.

The legal changes from next month will see the government reducing the burden of the rules which will be a benefit particularly for smaller businesses. Currently, any company with 10 or more employees must inform and consult with “appropriate representatives”, such as a trade union official, if the business is planning to change hands.

However, under the new legislation, this right to communicate directly with staff will be extended to companies with fewer than 50 employees or those with greater numbers of employees where less than 10 employees are affected by the sale.

Sally Morris said: “July’s new TUPE legislation has a number of aims, but mainly to help reduce delays during business sales or acquisitions. It makes procedures easier to follow, but also extends the legal definition of a “micro business” which helps to reduce the burden on them during the sales process.

“Essentially, this change in legislation will remove some of the extra consultative steps that were required previously. That means it will make consultation easier and remove some of the red tape around TUPE transfers, thus making the process to transfer employees much more straightforward.

“As ever, HR and personnel departments need to be fully up to speed on what the changes mean for them and if in doubt about any aspect, they should seek professional advice.”

The Employment and HR Services team at mfg Solicitors advise on a range of matters including contracts, policies and procedures, grievance and disciplinary issues, settlement agreements, redundancy and restructures.