Clearly TUPE – Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment), is about regulation. But there is also a very human aspect to it.
It can be a very unsettling time for an individual, employed on a contract, when that contract goes out to tender. Although there are regulations in place to protect them there is what may be the daunting prospect of having a new employer, together with everything that goes with that!
It is very important for an incoming contractor to handle the transfer sensitively. Prior to the tender submission they must ensure that they are in possession of all the relevant information about potentially transferring employees. This must be factored into the bid, so that it can all be incorporated into the new contract, should they be successful. Once the contract is awarded the incoming provider must re-check all the information, and, at the earliest appropriate opportunity, engage with all employees who may transfer. It is absolutely crucial to be totally professional at this stage. This means;
- Communicating exactly what employees can expect, what their options are and how the transfer will proceed
- Conveying a welcome to potential new employees, demonstrating an open, honest and empathetic approach
As and when the transfer takes place it will be important to welcome incoming transferring employees into the team. This may involve integrating with existing employees, or new recruits. It may mean that transferring employees are on significantly different packages to existing or new employees. This is a potentially divisive situation, and may adversely affect service delivery. It will be really important to closely manage the team, and nip any issues in the bud.
Of course, although employees transferring in with the contract have a right to expect their employment to be protected, it is also quite reasonable for the standards expected of them to be established, and for them to be measured against them. If they fail to meet these standards they should be treated just like any employee, and given support to achieve the standards required. If the object of the exercise was to raise the standards of service delivery, then all members of the team will be expected to be part and parcel of this change.
Clearly TUPE – Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment), is a highly sophisticated element in mobilising contracts. If you would like to know more about this topic please contact us.