31st March 2014
In the absence of clear legislation on TUPE the Irish Security Industry Association (ISIA) has led the way by tackling the uncertainty in this area by developing its own code of practice. Members of the ISIA agree to this code when they become a member of the ISIA's Guarding Services divsion, a sector of employment regularly impacted by TUPE.
Here is a brief summary of what can go wrong when security service contracts change hands without any guidance on TUPE:
- If the employee doesn’t stay with the contract when a contract is awarded to another supplier, the incumbent employer may not have alternative employment for an employee wishing to stay with the incumbent employer. In this scenario if the employee had been advised in advance, the employee is effectively resigning his employment and redundancy would not apply.
- When a company, procuring security or cleaning services does not dictate in a tender that a transfer must take place this can provide some employers with an opportunity not to TUPE incumbent employees if they are awarded the contract which can result in displacement for the incumbent employees and as almost certainly, has been evident in the past, industrial action and pickets at the clients location, damaging their brand.
- Not specifying if TUPE is to take place in the tender RFT or Request for Tender can also lead to pricing being submitted which doesn’t incorporate all cost elements. The company awarded the contract may not be aware of the T & C’s or Holiday entitlements of the incumbent employees and when they transfer over under the Transfer Regulations, if the cost is significant, the company may seek a price increase early in the contract from the company procuring services.
- In many cases companies procuring services are also not aware that they are paying for Holiday entitlements of service personnel contracted on their locations. If this contract transfers under TUPE to an alternative supplier, the new supplier will have to recognise the Holidays and may seek to be compensated by the supplier if the Holiday value has not transferred over cleanly to the new supplier.
The members of the ISIA recently revised their TUPE code ensuring that their is even less ambiguity when security service contracts move from one ISIA member to another. Knowing that ISIA members must operate in line with the ISIA's code on TUPE is a great reassurance to clients of ISIA member security companies.
For further information on the ISIA's TUPE Code of Conduct contact us.