Monday, 21 March 2011

Plans to scrap TUPE? (UPDATED - I was wrong)

As pointed out in the comments below. This post was just plain wrong (at least at the moment). The plans announced by Eric Pickles are to scrap simply the two-tier code whereby if a transferred service takes on new staff, they cannot be on worse terms and conditions than the transferred staff. There are (as yet) no plans to abolish TUPE and I was reading them both together.

Apologies for the mis-information.

For the record, the original post read:

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has apparently announced plans to scrap the system whereby local government staff transferred to private companies to continue doing their old job keep their original terms and conditions.

The system, known variously as the 'two-tier code' or TUPE, ensures that the private firms cannot force employees to accept much worse pay and conditions or lose their jobs.

Contrary to some press reports, the vast majority of local government staff are not overpaid fat cats. They earn above minimum wage, but they are not raking in the six figure sums which make the papers. The concern is that the abolition of TUPE, combined with the Conservatives' aim of getting councils to outsource more and more of their core work, will result in thousands of loyal staff losing out.

If this turns out to be the case then it will be a very bad day for local government. Staff such as call centre workers and bin men could see their pay cut to minimum wage levels or just above and could lose all but the legal minimum holiday and sick pay entitlements.


dessie said...

Well you Lib Dems are in govt with them so I guess this is now Lib Dem policy.

Jon said...


From the report you mention I don't think it is existing employees transferring under TUPE who are under threat (and anyway isn't there a European dimension to TUPE which means it would be hard to scrap unilaterally?).

I think Pickles is referring to the two-tier code, which means employers can't recruit new staff on different terms and conditions to ex-local authority staff who have transferred.

In my area this means, for example, it is difficult to open leisure centres on Bank Holidays because all the staff are on old LA terms and conditions which require very high levels of extra pay and/or TOIL for bank holidsy working.

Alex Folkes said...

Jon - Thanks for the comment. I have updated the post to reflect my mistake

Caron said...

Never been happier to see someone being wrong - but the two tier code going is surely worrying?