For employers, it is important to be sensitive to the transfer of collective agreements. They need to look not only at the legal implications of rule changes, but also at all labour relations considerations. Unconventional conditions are governed by standard TUPE rules. One year after the transfer, future employers can renegotiate the terms of a collective agreement, provided that the overall change is no less favourable to the workers concerned. After more than ten years of European legal protection for workers in the event of a transfer, many aspects of the 2001 Directive (Council Directive 2001/23/EC) and its predecessor have been the subject of judicial scrutiny and clarification of the requirements. However, as confirmed by an important case this week, this process is an ongoing process and new aspects are always highlighted. This recent case suggests that the text of the 2006 UK TUPE regulations is not all that appears to be related to the transfer of trade union recognition and could pose a potential danger to unwary employers. If the transferred company retains a different identity from the other activities of the new employer, the new employer is deemed to be an independent union for the transferred workers to the extent that it has been recognized by the previous employer. If the company does not retain its own identity, union recognition is extinguished and it is up to the union and the employer to renegotiate the recognition. In the United Kingdom, it should also be noted that if union recognition is not required by law, the purchaser may in any event be under-recognized, as this is of course part of a thoughtful strategy. Individual collective agreements continue to apply, provided they are not amended.
Legal recognition is relatively rare when de-accounting is possible in this case, but subject to appropriate procedures and timelines. The direct effect of collective agreements is to change the compensation and benefits agreed upon for workers represented in these negotiations. When workers switch to a new employer under the TUPE, is the new employer bound by changes to a collective agreement negotiated by the former employer after the transfer? Lawyer Pulina Whitaker is investigating the impact of recent changes to TUPE. This letter describes the purpose of the TUPE regulations, which is a matter of regulation, the position of the employer and the employee in the event of transfer, dismissal and union recognition. For recognition to be transferred under the directive, autonomy must be preserved, while UK law must preserve a clear identity. The issue of autonomy has not been considered by the European Court of Justice.