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taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6430
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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I am thinking taking over a business. Can I change the staff

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I am thinking taking over a business. Can I change the staff contract of employment.
Am I obliged to continue with ones their present employers have?
Hi my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Do you know how long the staff have been with the current employer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
5 have been there ranging from 5 years to 20
Ok TUPE laws exist in the whole of the UK including Scotland which protect employees in the case of business transfers. The basic position is that employees must transfer to the new owner on the same terms and conditions as with the previous employer. Once the employees have transferred terms and conditions can only be changed if there is an economical technical or organisational reason to do so. This might be if you cannot afford to retain the staff, they would be entitled to redundancy in those circumstances though. I would advise you to take specific advise if this is your intention as it could be very costly to you if you get it wrong. If you have any further questions please ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer as I am not otherwise paid for working on your question. Thank you and all the best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So if there was insufficient work I could reduce there hours
Yes but you would have to be able to evidence that in the event anyone tried to challenge it in the employment tribunal. But yes insufficient work would amount to good reason to reduce hours.
Hello Deborah is there anything further you would like to know?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If staff agreed to begin completely new contracts would this be an issue?
Yes it is unlawful under TUPE to introduce new contracts because of a transfer, this is the case even if they were more favourable. It would be very risky to attempt to do so because if they said no problem and then took advise they could bring a claim for a determination that the new contracts are void and would win.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What about staff who have not been issued with contracts
Hi the lack of a written contract makes no difference to the situation. Tupe still applies and their terms of employment cannot be altered except in the same way.