Firms throughout the Midlands have been warned that new rules governing the transfer of staff when businesses change hands could create ‘numerous’ pitfalls.
From January 31 new legislation surrounding TUPE transfers comes into force across England and Wales, with the regulations mainly applying to the buying and selling of businesses.
With many businesses set to be affected, West Midlands’ employment expert Sally Morris said it was crucial for bosses to get to grips with the revised legislation to avoid falling foul of the new rules during crucial staff consultations.
Ms Morris, partner and head of employment at Worcestershire law firm mfg Solicitors, said the new rules brought clearer guidance and made the TUPE process easier for small businesses.
“Transfers of undertakings have become more and more common over the years, particularly as local authorities and public sector bodies outsource work to the private sector,” she said.
“Staff, quite rightly, want to be sure their terms and conditions are protected, while the business taking them on needs to be certain the process has been followed to the book and what its options are if changes are required.
“A small business will now be able to deal directly with staff during the consultation rather than going through the lengthy process of appointing employee representatives like larger organisations are required to do.
“The new rules may allow renegotiation of employment terms and in due course the time period to provide information about employees to the prospective employer will be increased,” added Ms Morris.