On 10 May, the Department for Business and Trade (the “DBT”) released the regulatory reform update “Smarter Regulation to Grow the Economy” – the first in a series of updates on how the government intends to reform regulations to support economic growth. This first package of updates addresses employment regulations, which the DBT have identified as a key area to reduce the administrative burden on UK businesses following the UK’s departure from the European Union. The aim of these reforms is to boost the UK economy by cutting red tape for UK businesses, whilst maintaining UK labour standards.
The TUPE Regulations provide protections for employees when the business/organisation for which they work transfers to new ownership. The DBT is consulting on simplification of information and consultation requirements in a TUPE context.
Currently, businesses (of any size) cannot consult directly with affected employees when there are no employee representatives. Instead, they must go through a process of electing new employee representatives and then consult with the appointed representatives. The DBT proposes to remove the requirement to appoint employee representatives: (i) when a business has fewer than 50 employees; and (ii) where a transfer will affect less than 10 employees. In either of these circumstances, employers will be allowed to consult directly with the affected employees.
The DBT have suggested this will improve engagement with workers and simplify the transfer process, reducing administrative burdens for businesses.
This provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and the judgments made in every aspect of the case. Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.