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IPA disappointed with Government response to TUPE changes

The Government has now published its response to its Consultation on TUPE.


The Consultation had included a proposed repeal of ‘service provision change’ (SPC) coverage, under which contracting in and out for services and retendering were brought within TUPE’s scope back in 2006.

Due to a large majority of respondents to the Consultation rejecting the proposals, the SPC rules will be retained. This means that agencies will continue to be affected by TUPE in business pitches and subsequent transfers after either winning or losing a tender.

Says IPA’s Employment Lawyer, Juliet Bawtree: “The retention of SPC rules is extremely disappointing. The IPA has lobbied against these provisions since they came into force in 2006. Most recently, we have provided comprehensive responses to the Government’s Call for Evidence on the effectiveness of TUPE and the subsequent Consultation on proposed changes to TUPE. We also met BIS representatives.

"We were surprised that, despite the misgivings of the IPA, other organisations and the Government itself about the existence and retention of SPCs, 67% of respondents were against repealing SPCs mainly because they thought it would create more legal uncertainty as to whether or not a transfer of services was caught by TUPE.

"We had set out a number of practical examples demonstrating where TUPE creates uncertainty and problems for clients, incumbent and incoming agencies as well as the employees that the Regulations are supposed to protect. Whilst we will continue looking for opportunities to push for changes to this area of law, we recognise that the Government’s decision will not be reconsidered in the near future.

"Therefore, we will look at ways of trying to help our members manage TUPE transfers most effectively by, for example, updating written guidance and hosting a seminar on the forthcoming changes. Once the new Regulations are published, we will also review the IPA/ISBA voluntary TUPE Protocol to see that it is fit for purpose".

Meanwhile, the IPA Employment Law service will continue advising IPA members on their day-to-day TUPE enquiries.

For further information about the forthcoming TUPE changes, their implications for your agency and when they are likely to be implemented, please click here.

Last updated 07/10/2013

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