UNISON warning over plans to weaken TUPE

UNISON, the UK’s largest union, is warning that government plans to weaken the rules protecting workers when they transfer from one employer to another could spark an increase in costly legal challenges.

The government is planning to strip away the 2006 amendments to the TUPE regulations (Transfer of Undertaking Protection of Employment) that were put in place to clarify who the regulations covered. Doing so will increase legal uncertainly and fuel a rise in the number of costly legal challenges for public bodies, workers, companies and unions.

The union also believes that the move is designed to fuel the government’s privatisation agenda, which has been synonymous with declining wages and service quality in the UK.

Bronwyn McKenna, UNISON assistant general secretary, said: “Changing the rules that protect employees transferred from one employer to another will remove vital clarity, fuelling a rise in costly legal claims. Employers have told us that they do not support these changes – we are calling on the government to see sense and keep this vital protection for employers and employees.

“UNISON is also deeply concerned about the real reason behind these changes – they will make damaging privatisation of public services easier. The public will pay a high price, as there could be a race to the bottom in contracting and the quality of public services suffers.”