The reforms, which came into effect on January 31, mean that if the place of work changes after a transfer, location can now be considered as an “economic, technical or organisational reason, which entail changes in the workforce”.
The move is among a number of modifications made to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations which are designed to protect employees’ terms and conditions when an employer sells or buys part of a business or when one business merges with another.
The government has said it hopes the changes will make the process of transferring employees from one business to another “easier, fairer and more effective”.
Other changes in the regulations mean that terms and conditions agreed under a collective agreement can now be varied once a year has passed – so long as overall changes are “no less favourable” to employees.
Businesses that have fewer than 10 employees can now consult with individuals rather than through elected representatives. The test to determine if a “service provision change” has occurred has also been amended.
If the activities carried out after the transfer are fundamentally the same as those that were carried out before it then no change has taken place. Finally, the deadline for supplying employee liability information has increased from 14 to 28 days before the transfer.
Further information regarding TUPE can be found on our factsheet.