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TUPE ‘affected employees’ clarified

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An Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has become the first to detail and clarify ‘affected employees’ that must be informed during TUPE transfers.

TUPE, or Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, relate to the sale of a business and the subsequent placement of existing staff.

When a TUPE transfer is enforced, employers must provide written information to representatives of ‘affected employees’. Failure to consult with those affected can result in an award of up to 13 weeks pay to each employee involved.

But, following Somerset County Council’s 2007 case, an EAT has explained which staff are covered by TUPE regulations.

Affected employees were detailed as: “those who will be or may be transferred or whose jobs are in jeopardy by reason of the proposed transfer, or who have job applications within the organisation pending at the time of the transfer.”

In 2007, Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council transferred the majority of their resource teams to a private company. The 846 employees were consulted over their TUPE arrangements and accordingly dealt with.

However, employment union Unison argued that not only were the transferred employees affected but also those in separate departments due to dwindling promotion opportunities under new management.

But the EAT threw out Unison’s argument, ruling that TUPE regulations cannot extend to the whole workforce or everyone who might apply for future vacancies or transfers internally.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

January 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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