UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

TUPE or not TUPE?

When Cameron talks about a flexible Europe it is clear to trade unions that what he really means is a flexible European workforce with few employment rights other than the right to be dismissed without notice by greedy employers.

The latest proposals to ‘change’ TUPE are little short of an attempt to scrap the very purpose of the regulations stemming from Europe. It was hard won battles by trade unions which achieved some protection of workers when companies were taken over or public sector services privatised. Now we see an illogical and expensive gamble with the TUPE regulations about to be taken by this Government.

Their ‘consultation’ on TUPE is a industry wish list to further deregulate employment rights. Crucially the changes which are proposed seek to remove the TUPE service provision changes introduced by the last government which helped to clarify and expand the application of TUPE when part of a service is sold off or privatised – protecting thousands of workers and in particular women workers within service sector jobs , from enforced redundancy situations.

Thompsons have produced a useful outline of the changes which you can read here:

Although the changes may well be worthy of a legal challenge as they seek to fundamentally alter European worker rights provided by a Directive to which the UK government must comply, this will be a political and moral battle for the trade unions. Miliband’s ‘one nation’ party should be unequivocal in rejecting this attack on our nation's workers.

Anna Rose