Impact of Brexit on TUPE Regulations and Issues

Posted in : Seamus Says - Employment Law Discussion on 8 January 2021
Seamus McGranaghan
O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors
Issues covered: Brexit; TUPE Regulations

What sort of TUPE changes are speculated, if any? If a company has an upcoming TUPE situation in Northern Ireland, are there any watch-outs? 

Seamus: Well, TUPE is very complex. There's no doubt about it. I don't think that I've ever had had a TUPE scenario that has been straightforward. As regards the aspect of what things to watch out for, for me, the most complex elements of TUPE tend to be where you would have as service provision change that would be happening and the contract maybe moving out of this jurisdiction to another jurisdiction.

 Most likely, if you're a company on the border and the contract was transferring from one jurisdiction into the next or from the North into the South, that always raises complexities. And the greater the distance in terms of the travel aspect for an employee to get to work, you'll tend to have in those scenarios the employees' reluctance to fulfil the transfer.

So I think it's worth watching in and around what happens with a crossover for jurisdictions because that was very much enshrined in the EU legislation, and particularly for us maybe service provision changes that are happening where the contract is moving North/South.

Scott: What kind of TUPE changes are speculated? Now, my understanding, the issue would be around varying contracts more than anything, because the law obviously in the UK is different when it comes to service provision change. They made it much simpler, basically, if TUPE applied, whereas the rest of Europe is a lot more complex. So most companies quite like the simplicity of the UK gold standard, if you like, when it came there.

But it's more about to allow more flexibility and allowing some changes, is my understanding. I don't know about you. Now, whether it takes place or not, I don't know, because now that we're out of the EU it's up to the government to change those things. But that was my understanding, that we're looking at giving a bit more flexibility, not just where companies have gone bust, but allowing some variations and not a complete protection. But I could be wrong.

Seamus: I came across that as well.


This article is correct at 08/01/2021

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Seamus McGranaghan
O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors

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