Employment minister predicts “revamped” TUPE by September

by Direct 2 Lawyers on July 4, 2013

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Employment Minister Jo Swinson has predicted that new rules regarding TUPE that will be unveiled by September.

The Liberal Democrat MP and Minister for Employment was speaking at a CIPD conference ni London when she made the announcement on 3 July 2013. It has been regularly floated by the Government that new rules to reduce the burdens on business that TUPE apparently causes will be introduced later this year but there had been no firm commitment from a Government source as to when these rules would be unveiled before yesterday.

Ms Swinson stated that “We can’t get out of TUPE legislation because it already exists”, but she also stated that there would be a “scaling-back” of the current rules and that there would be further clarification for employers and advisers on how the changes to the law would effect TUPE transfers that are already in the works. The position is currently complicated and some employment law solicitors are unsure as to how to advise clients.

The Liberal Democrat Minister also spoke about a number of other changes to employment law that the Government is seeking to introduce in the near future, including changes to pre-claim conciliation, the introduction of settlement agreements and protected conversations and the pending introduction of shared parental leave.

Pre-claim conciliation is being introduced by the Government to attempt to stem the flow of litigation through the Employment Tribunal. Under the proposed rules, employees would have to submit to a defined period of pre-claim conciliation through ACAS before they would be allowed to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal. They would also not be able to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal unless they had received a certificate from ACAS confirming that they had suitably engaged in the pre-claim conciliation.

In the summer of 2012 (date as yet unknown) there are also changes due to be made to the legislation currently surrounding compromise agreements. These changes will alter the name of “compromise agreements” to that of “settlement agreements” and will also seek to allow employers and employees to have ‘full and frank’ discussions which will (if they meet the legal criteria) be on a without prejudice basis and therefore not admissible as evidence in the Employment Tribunal. However, there are significant complications with these new rules such as, for example, the fact that discrimination claims will not be caught by these proposals.

The Liberal Democrat Minister also spoke about shared parental leave, which is to be enacted in 2015. She stated that this would “revolutionise the way we work” and would “ensure no-one has to make a choice between a career and a family life”. She also stated that it offered significant benefits for employers, such as a way to offer women on maternity leave a means to integrate themselves back into the workforce easily.

Direct 2 Lawyers offer expert legal advice from unfair dismissal solicitors and settlement agreement solicitors

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