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help with a TUPE issue please

(12 Posts)
WomanAndHome Tue 18-Aug-09 00:56:20

Hi, help would be greatly appreciated with this issue: I work for a company A who lost a contract which went to company B. A small group of us are being TUPE'd over to B. All of us work f/t and are permanently employed. we met the new employer last week who told us that there would not be enough work for all of us, and also that their people work on a self employed basis, and are paid an hourly rate.

As a group we are concerned that we will be either forced to accept a self-employment contract or be made redundant. The talks we had were preliminary so nothing is definitive and not in writing. I have spoken with ACAS who advised that the new employer could terminate my old contract and issue me a self employmnet one on the basis of economic reasons. All they need to do is give me a months notice for change of contract. Can they really do that?

My colleagues and I would accept reduced hours if necessary but we don't want to lose our permanent employment position. The redundancy pay would be statutary so not worth bothering with.

None of us is a member of a union. Not sure where to get legal representation and whether we need to pay for it.
Also how important is it that we act as a group rather than individuals?
any ideas? thanks

WomanAndHome Tue 18-Aug-09 11:01:47

bump! A meeting with the new manager taking place this pm, could someone shed some light please? many thanks!

dollyparting Tue 18-Aug-09 11:21:59

A lot depends on the industry that you work in, but there are specific rules about self-employment and it is not always straightforward for an employer just to make the switch from employed to self-employed.

some information here

RibenaBerry Tue 18-Aug-09 13:01:06

Am in a bit of a rush, but the basics are that you are entitled to be transferred on all your normal terms and conditions. However, if there is a redundancy situation, then they can do normal redundancy consultation with everyone in similar positions (i.e. those in A and B). If they don't have any employees, I guess it would just be you.

Dolly's comments on self employment are also relevant. Do take a look. You can't just make an employee self employed.

WomanAndHome Tue 18-Aug-09 13:13:19

Dollyparting, ribena, thank you so much for replying. The other lot are definitely self-employed and our new boss sounds like she wants us to be self-employed too, which would mean a complete change of t&c's. I think her plot is to make it look like our choice is either be made redundant or be self-employed, without a guaranteed volume of work! Some of my colleagues are so worried about losing income that they are prepared to accept the change in contract without question.

We are supposed to start on Sept 1! there is a group of five of us.

We work for a small charity. How do we find legal help without paying a fortune, would the CAB people be able to do that for us? thanks again!

RibenaBerry Tue 18-Aug-09 13:15:27

CAB, or try ACAS again (the helpline is often good, but can be a bit variable!)

WomanAndHome Tue 18-Aug-09 13:28:14

thanks RibenaBerry, will give ACAS another call before we go into meeting.

roisin Tue 18-Aug-09 14:28:21

IME TUPE rights are worth nothing, and your (new) employer can probably get away with doing anything they want.

dollyparting Tue 18-Aug-09 14:44:29

HMRC stuff on self-employment here

Probably too late for your meeting this afternoon but have a look and see whether you think the criteria for your job fit with self-employment.

WomanAndHome Tue 18-Aug-09 16:28:53

Roisin, unfortunately I am beginning to agree with you, TUPE isn't worth much because the new employer can do anything they want under their ETO excuse. What has your experience been?

Ribenaberry, thanks for that, it is even clearer that self employment is what is on offer. The new Ts and Cs would be inferior to my existing ones.

Had a brief meeting with the new manager- terribly non committal still!
Will meet her again next week, in the mean time I have phoned ACAS again, and they suggested definitely getting a legal representative as this is a complex issue, so I called the local Law Centre and booked an appointment with an Employment Law specialist for early next week. I didn't expect it would be that easy to get an appointment so am pleased with their response.
thanks everyone, will update you when things become clearer.

roisin Tue 18-Aug-09 18:31:19

I work in a school that is closing next week, and re-opening as an Academy. The vast majority of support staff will be working more hours than previously with fewer holidays, most of them are getting pay cuts of between 5 and 25%!

We are in unions and the unions say there is nothing we can do.

WomanAndHome Tue 18-Aug-09 19:26:16

Roisin, that sound really bad, how on earth did the staff agree to the change in their conditions?

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