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06 February 2014

TUPE - a guide to using the law for union reps

The coalition government views TUPE, and in particular, the protection it gives to outsourced workers, as a burdensome barrier to its public sector outsourcing plans. As a result, the government has made significant changes to TUPE which became law on 31 January 2014. Several of the changes amount to a direct attack on collectively agreed terms and on the machinery of collective bargaining, prompting TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady to describe them as a "blatant attack on the ability of unions to represent working people."

In effect, the new regulations, known as The Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, dilute the protection offered by TUPE, making it easier and quicker for employers to cut pay and other terms and to dismiss workers.

The changes pave the way for yet more public sector outsourcing, signalled, for example, by the invitation in December 2013 for private sector bids on a further 177 billion of public sector contracts covering 19 areas, including financial services, fire services, ICT, police service, probation and offender management, construction and "welfare to work".

Union reps will continue to play a vital role organising and protecting the interests of their members when a transfer of undertakings takes place and this 80-page LRD guide to using the law is a key resource for them. It explains exactly what has changed and what has remained the same, highlights the latest key TUPE cases, and summarises the most important features of TUPE from the practical perspective of trade union reps and members.

TUPE - a guide to using the law for union reps

 

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