TUPE: but not as we know it?
By Sandra M Wallace
The introduction of the service provision change (SPC) regulations in TUPE 2006 promised so much in terms of certainty, but unfortunately has delivered so little. Far from giving employers and employees alike much needed confidence about the circumstances in which TUPE will apply, recent case law has created a great deal of uncertainty.
Now the government has launched a consultation paper indicating that it proposes to remove the SPC provisions altogether. With a long lead-in period, however, until any changes are likely come into force, and with no guarantee that they will provide any additional clarity, businesses still need to understand how the trend has been moving in recent months.
At its simplest, a service provision change occurs when activities carried out on behalf of a client by one person are instead carried out by another person. However, immediately before the change there has to be an organised grouping of employees situated in Great Britain that has as its principal purpose the carrying out of activities on behalf of the client. On the face of it, these provisions are relatively straightforward but, over the last 12 months, they have, in fact, courted a good deal of controversy…
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