In a services industry, it is common for employees to be transferred between employers along with the contracts they work on as the contracts are won and lost. This situation is covered by the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations, so such moves are commonly known as “TUPE transfers”.
UNITE has produced a useful guide to the TUPE regulations which is available online. Key issues which often arise in TUPE transfers include:
- Is the new employer financially viable?
- Future job security
- Collective agreements
Two of the transfers UNITE is currently involved in are on the ATLAS and DWP contracts.
In the ATLAS TUPE, employees are transferring in both directions between HP and Fujitsu. One of the advantages of UNITE involvement is that the union has reps involved on both sides of the transfer, able to compare notes and share information, rather than relying so heavily on what the companies are saying.
There’s a particular concern because HP intend to move the work the Fujitsu staff are currently doing from Reading to Scotland. Colin Rose, the UNITE Regional Officer covering Reading, has produced a template grievance which members can submit:
I am lodging a written formal grievance to invoke the grievance procedure, due to a ‘reasonable belief’ that Fujitsu has flawed any potential redundancy consultation following on from the announcements made at the town hall regarding the transfer of my role to Hewlett Packard.
At my grievance hearing I wish to be represented by Colin Rose, the Regional Officer from Unite.
The DWP TUPE involves transfers from Fujitsu to both HP and IBM.
If you are in scope for either of these TUPEs, it would help your reps support you if you could let them know: