Employment Law Bulletin February 2014

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Welcome

 The newly fiddled-with TUPE came into force on 31 January. Last month’s bulletin covered some of the main changes which have now taken effect.

 In all the debate about the changes, one really important aspect has been neglected – how “TUPE” is pronounced. This has been a subject of uncertainty since the regulations were introduced over thirty years ago. We have heard all sorts of innovative variations – “tyoop“, “tawp” and on one memorable occasion (presumably as a nod to the regulations’ European origins) “toupée“. Whilst the majority favour “chew-pee“, there is not an obvious phonetic basis for this.

 Sadly, the amending legislation, the snappily-titled Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, which the more excitable parts of the employment law community have taken to referring to as “CRATUPEAR”, does not provide for a name change for the TUPE Regulations themselves, or even a pronunciation guide. The confusion, therefore, looks set to continue…

Agency Worker Protection Limited

Moran v Ideal Cleaning Services

Agency workers are not employees, but over the years the distinction between the two has blurred. Agency workers with at least 12 weeks’ service are entitled (under the Agency Worker Regulations 2010) to the same basic employment rights and working conditions as if they had been recruited directly.

However, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has raised many employment lawyers’ eyebrows and decided that workers on “indefinite” or “permanent” assignments are not covered by the Agency Workers Regulations and are therefore not entitled to employee-equivalent rights. This is a significant shift in the general understanding of the law.