Two more HR updates are set to land this summer

  • Employment Law
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Kate Palmer FCIPD - Director of HR Advice and Consultancy at global employment law consultancy, Peninsula.

Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director

(Last updated )

Last month, we gave you a roundup of all the HR changes that happened in April 2024. And now, more changes are on the horizon.

From managing new rules on business transfers to tricky ‘fire and rehire’ practices, here are two more HR updates you can expect to land this summer…

If your business changes hands, you might not have to consult elected representatives

To give a quick overview, if your business ever changes hands and a different organisation takes over, the law protects the employees who worked for you.

Your employees have legal protection under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations or ‘TUPE’ for short (more on this below).

This gives your staff the right to continue working under a new employer. But they get to keep their original terms and conditions.

Previously, you could only consult with your staff directly about a transfer if you employed fewer than 10 employees.

Otherwise, you had to consult with trade unions and employee representatives on their behalf. So unless you were exempt, this meant you had to elect representatives if you didn’t have any already.

Well, if your business changes hands on or after 1st July 2024, we expect this will no longer be the case. That’s as long as your business meets the below criteria:

  • You have a small business of fewer than 50 employees.
  • You have a business of any size but your transfer affects fewer than 10 employees.

If you fall into either category, you’ll also be able to consult with your employees directly affected by the transfer (if they don’t currently have representatives).

Businesses will have to follow a code of practice to ‘fire and rehire’ staff

The next summer update you’ll need to be aware of is around the use of ‘fire and rehire’ tactics.

If you’re not familiar with this practice, it’s a way of changing your employee’s terms and conditions. And it works like this:

You dismiss your employee and then immediately re-hire them under a new contract. We call this practice dismissal and re-engagement or ‘fire and rehire’:

Because it involves a dismissal, using the fire and rehire practice can be tricky to navigate. And it might lead an employee who doesn’t agree to a change in their terms to claim for unfair dismissal. That’s if they feel backed into a corner to either accept new terms or lose their job.

So to put a stop to unfair practices and legal risk, the government plans to release a universal code of practice on fire and rehire. We’re expecting this code to be in force from 18th July 2024.

This code will give you a process to follow if you’re ever thinking of dismissing an employee who doesn’t agree to your new terms. So, you can make sure your dismissal is fair.

Once this code takes effect, you will have to follow it if you want to use this kind of practice. If you don’t and your employee makes a claim, a tribunal could make you pay up to 25% more compensation.

Stay tuned for more HR updates

You might have your spring and summer HR updates covered, but there are more to come later this year. So, stay tuned for further advice nearer the time.

And in case you needed a reminder, here are the HR changes that have happened so far…

Now the above are already in place, you’ll need to make sure you’re up to date to stay legally safe.

So if you have any questions or concerns about any of the HR changes we’ve covered so far, don’t forget you can speak to an HR expert directly. Just tap below to book in for a free consultation today.

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