Last week the Government announced a consultation on proposed changes to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”) to ensure that firms can be confident of their obligations during the process and take advantage of the new regulatory freedom since our departure from the European Union.  The consultation is open until 11 July 2024 and seeks views on the following proposals:

  1. re-affirming that TUPE only applies to employees and not workers;
  1. removing the obligation to split employees’ contracts between multiple employers where a business is transferred to more than one new business. The proposal is that the employers taking over the business would be required to agree who should be responsible for each employee’s contract.

The proposed changes are in addition to the reforms that are already due to come into effect from 1 July 2024 in relation to TUPE, under which small businesses are permitted to consult with employees directly if there are no existing employee representatives in place. The proposals, if implemented, appear helpful to employers in removing some of the current uncertainty in relation to the application of TUPE. In addition, consultation is being sought on proposals to abolish the legal framework for European Works Councils (“EWCs”) which would include a repeal of the current requirement to maintain existing EWC.  Following the departure from the European Union, the Government already legislated to prevent the establishment on new EWCs in the UK so these proposals build on the changes already implemented.

If you have any questions on this, or any other topic, please contact your usual Mayer Brown contact or Francesca Ingham