B&ES is concerned that proposals outlined in a government consultation on changes to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations - generally known as TUPE - could, if implemented, increase employment costs for service and facilities companies in the specialist engineering sector.
“The government is putting forward proposals for changes, to take effect from the autumn of this year, which we believe are unnecessary,” explained Peter Rimmer, head of the B&ES’ employment affairs department.
He added that, in general, both employers and trade unions were satisfied with the effect of the revised TUPE Regulations which were introduced in 2006. “Indeed, industry lobbied hard for these, because they introduced a degree of clarity and thereby reduced uncertainty.”
This had resulted in a reduction in disputes and costly tribunal cases, and made it easier for employers to take proper account of their obligations under TUPE.
“We feel that what the government is now proposing will signal a return to the malpractice and abuse which – without the benefit of the 2006 Regulations – bedevilled the application of TUPE in outsourcing situations,” Rimmer concluded.
The government claims that the proposed changes will produce a net benefit to business of up to £30 million a year. However, B&ES believes that the cost to business of a more uncertain legal and commercial environment has been overlooked.