Michael Burton 12 May 2011

Minister to overhaul employment rules

Employment rules protecting public sector staff from changes in their jobs when their departments are outsourced could be watered down under plans announced yesterday.

Employment relations minister Ed Davey said the Government was reviewing the future of key employment rules which it regards as 'red tape' including collective redundancy consultation periods, the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations (TUPE) and levels of compensation for discrimination awarded by employment tribunals.

Speaking to the Institute of Economic Affairs.Mr Davey said:'We will be looking carefully at the arguments for reform. Fairness for individuals will not be compromised – but where we can make legislation easier to understand, improve efficiency and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy we will.'

Ministers believe TUPE rules, which implement a European directive and apply to both the public and private sectors can be 'overly bureaucratic'. Under TUPE staff who are transferred to another employer have their existing terms and conditions protected. The review will also look at compensation for discrimination which it believes causes uncertainty and leads to unnecessarily high payouts.

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