Government Opens Consultation on Changes to TUPE and European Works Councils

govt consultation on TUPE and EWCs


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.


Need assistance?


The consultation closes on 11 July 2024. We will update as more information becomes available about the proposed changes. In the meantime, if you have any queries about the potential impact of the changes in employment law, contact us.



Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

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The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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