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MINISTERS OVERTURN TUPE RIGHTS

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Council employees with less than two years service will no longer be protected under the TUPE regulations following...
Council employees with less than two years service will no longer be protected under the TUPE regulations following government action.

In a landmark judgment earlier this year, the Employment Appeals Tribunal ruled that two North Yorkshire cleaning ladies had been unfairly dismissed after a transfer, even though they had been employed for less than two years (LGC, 13 April).

Contractors said it gave protection to workers where none had previously existed, and have been lobbying the government to introduce legislation which would nullify it.

Competition and consumer affairs minister Jonathan Evans announced secondary legislation last week.

The order specifies that TUPE protection will only apply to employees who meet the normal qualifying conditions, and will come into effect on 26 October.

John Hall, director general of the Business Services Association, said the action would help revive competition for local government contracts. 'As a result of the [EAT] judgment, contractors taking on work where the TUPE regulations applied faced far greater restrictions than all other employers in reorganising their workforces,' he said.

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