Dismissals and changes to terms and conditions may become less risky under the new rules surrounding Transfers of Undertakings. Several changes have been confirmed and are designed to remove ‘unfair legal risks’ to employers. For a summary of the changes, click here.

·     Despite an initial proposal to remove the specific inclusion of service provision changes from within scope, the government has confirmed that they will remain. However, the definition of service provision change will be amended to specifically require that activities carried on after the change are “fundamentally or essentially the same” as they were before the change;

·     Again, it was originally proposed that the requirement for employee liability information would be removed. It will remain, but the deadline for provision of the information will be brought forward to 28 days before transfer (currently 14 days)

·     The restrictions around dismissals and changes to terms and conditions for a reason connected with the transfer will be relaxed meaning fewer automatic unfair dismissal claims;

·     It will be permissible to amend terms of collective agreements a year after transfer provided changes are overall no less favourable to the employee;

·     Where terms derived from collective agreements are subsequently renegotiated, an employer who does not have the opportunity to participate in the negotiation process will not be bound by the new terms. They will still be bound by the terms which existed at the time of the transfer;

·     Changes of location will qualify as an ETO reason entailing changes in the workforce meaning fewer automatic unfair dismissals where a workplace is closed down because of a transfer;

·     Pre-transfer consultation will count for the purposes of collective redundancy consultation rules where certain criteria are met;

·     Micro businesses (10 or fewer employees) will be able to consult directly with staff where there are no existing employee representatives or a recognised trade union.

The changes are expected to be implemented with effect from January 2014.

For further clarification and assistance then please contact the Peninsula Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.