Transfer risks spark warning; CALL BUSINESS EDITOR JON GRIFFIN ON 0121 234 5670.
THE era of business transfers is here for good - and Midland companies have been urged to get to grips with TUPE legislation or risk damaging consequences. The importance of understanding TUPE was hammered home at a one-day conference, 'Simplify TUPE in a day' hosted by conciliation service ACAS at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull.
TUPE, the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations, protects employee rights when the business or undertaking for which they work transfers to a new employer.
Acas West Midlands Director Malcolm Boswell said: "The trend for business transfers is not going away, with traditional mergers and acquisitions being supplemented by the drive towards shared services and employee buy-ins.
"Many employers will find they have to manage groups of employees who come from different organisational cultures, with different terms and conditions.
"Getting the people issues right is just as vital as meeting the legal requirements.
"One area that continues to hit the headlines is outsourcing.
Outsourcing is set to raise complex challenges for traditional employment relationships and employers need to ensure that regular contact between client companies and suppliers is maintained.
"It's also vital that employers develop channels for employee communication so that any concerns can be aired early on to tackle potential conflict."
ACAS said: "Mergers and acquisitions are one way of ensuring that businesses can continue to provide services in the current financial climate.
Businesses that can innovate, survive and thrive will play a key part in the economic recovery."
Speakers at the conference included Dr John McMullen Director of Employment Law at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP, and Acas' Chief Conciliator, Peter Harwood.