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Outsourcing rules could trigger 'wave of litigation'

By James Barnes

05 March 2013 at 12:01 BST

British Government plans to change laws protecting outsourced workers' rights could inadvertently cause more problems than they solve, a top employment lawyer has warned.

Legal uncertainty to unleash wave of litigation?

City AM reports the changes to TUPE - the law that protects outsourced workers’ rights – includes reducing the legal protection given to outsourced workers, making it easier for businesses to ditch underperforming staff if they switch outsourced suppliers.


Employment lawyer Jon Taylor – a principal at UK commercial law firm EMW – told the newspaper that the increased uncertainty the changes will bring could end up costing them more.
‘The proposals will not solve this problem, and will create a bigger one instead,’ said Mr Taylor. ‘The law will give no certainty on whether businesses can freely restructure their contractor staff or not, and this legal uncertainty is likely to start a wave of litigation over the issue.

Gold plating

‘Ironically, the provisions were brought into effect in 2006 to give businesses a level of certainty over whether outsourcing was caught by TUPE because the position had been unclear prior to that.’
Mr Taylor also said the unions in the public sector would most likely challenge any changes to the law.
A spokesman for the government said that a number of proposals to remove ‘unnecessary gold plating’ had been issued.


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