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Should Redundancy Notification Be Made In Writing?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 4 Jul 2015 |
 
Tupe Employer Employee Redundancy

Q.

I have worked for my employer 38 years. They now plan to *TUPE (see editor's note below) us to a new employer and say that anyone who is unhappy at this must first TUPE over to the other company and can then be made redundant with a pay off.

Yesterday they said that anyone who wished to MIGHT be allowed to take voluntary redundancy from our current employer and wanted names of anyone interested by 5pm the next day. I was on holiday, and tried to contact colleagues who are affected, my union convenor, my HR manager and our company manager. The only one to get back to me was the union rep. He confirmed that nobody at work had clarified the situation to him, despite his strenuous efforts to speak to them.

As the deadline approaches we have no way of indicating our wish to take voluntary redundancy from our own company because of this. Does our company have to give us adequate notice in writing of a voluntary redundancy offer, rather than trying to rush us into making such a huge decision? I think our pensions will be affected by the move or by taking redundancy following the move.

*Editor's note: TUPE is the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations and aims to preserve employees' terms and conditions when a business or undertaking, or part of one, is transferred to a new employer.

(M.B, 17 March 2009)

A.

From what you say, it sounds as though your current employer is not being very upfront about what is happening. If this is the case, and you feel that you don’t have sufficient information to be able to make a decision on what to do, I would suggest you might consider transferring over to see what is on offer with the new employer.

Protection under TUPE

In a TUPE situation, most employees simply transfer over to the new company. Your pension will be protected up to 6% and all the terms and conditions of your existing employment would be carried over to the new employers, at least for the time being. If the new employer finds themselves overstaffed, or there is a change in location, this would then become a matter of Redundancy. The existing and new employer will have been in consultation together to thrash out the terms of the deal. Remember that your existing employer will have to pay employees to make them redundant, and when employees TUPE over, the new employer accepts full liability for them.

Your Consultation

You and your colleagues should have been in consultation with your existing employer, and ideally with the new employer too, in order to resolve these issues. Although this is not required by law, it is certainly best practice. There is no legal requirement to provide notice of voluntary redundancies in writing.

Contract Term

If it was a situation in which you decided you did not want to work for the new employer, and if you do not TUPE over, your contract simply comes to an end at the date of transfer (a bit like ‘frustration’ in other types of contracts). In this scenario, there is no need to provide notice, and your employment simply ceases. However, it does not sound as though this is intended to be the case because of the option to take voluntary redundancy with your existing employer. I do note the word ‘might’ in terms of the offer of voluntary redundancy, and this is why I have spelt out what could happen if you simply decided not to TUPE over to the new employer.

I hope this is of assistance to you and wish you all the best in the future.

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[Add a Comment]
@chels - you should refer to your staff handbook which should inform you the amount of notice you need to give, as different companies may vary their policies.
WorkingRights - 7-Jul-15 @ 10:48 AM
ive been at my new job around a month now (still in probation) and I'm really not liking it. Do I have to hand in written notice or can I just say to my manager that I want to leave?
chels - 4-Jul-15 @ 10:35 AM
@Chris _ I have included a gov.uk link here regarding what constitutes a fair dismissal. I hope this helps.
WorkingRights - 5-Mar-15 @ 12:02 PM
What is the law for dismissing an emplyee working under 16 hours
Chris - 4-Mar-15 @ 9:29 PM
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