Consultation Opens into TUPE and European Works Councils

Consultation Opens into TUPE and European Works Councils


The UK Government has launched a consultation regarding proposed amendments to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) and on plans to dismantle the legal framework governing European Works Councils.


Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE)


The Government proposes to clarify the scope of TUPE, limiting the provisions exclusively to employees, and not to workers.

Currently, TUPE applies to ‘employees’, but the definition applied under TUPE is broader than that in the Employment Rights Act 1996 and other UK employment laws. This inconsistency was highlighted in Dewhurst v Revisecatch Ltd, where the tribunal ruled that TUPE could also apply to workers. While this ruling is not binding on future cases, the Government aims to remove any confusion.

The proposals also seek to confirm that in cases where a business is transferred to multiple buyers, an employee’s contract cannot be split among the buyers, as per the European Court of Justice’s ruling in ISS Facility Services NV v Govaerts. Instead, an employee’s full employment should be transferred to a single transferee. The Government proposes that transferees must agree on which buyer will take on each employee.


European Works Councils (EWCs)


The Government has proposed abolishing the legal framework for EWCs in the UK. EWCs are employee representative bodies in multinational companies with operations across Europe.

Post-Brexit, the Government prevented the formation of new Works Councils and now proposes to disband those that currently exist.

The Government argues these changes will reduce complexity, administrative burdens, and costs for employers involved in transfers and for those participating in EWCs.



Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing & Content Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

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