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Obligations to existing staff when there is a company takeover? Please help!

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  • Obligations to existing staff when there is a company takeover? Please help!

    I have worked in the railway industry for 17 years, for different National Rail and TFL (Transport For London) concession holders. I was contracted to my last employer from Jan 2008, a company who invested in their staff and treated them with respect, and also rewarded them for their hard work, with annual bonuses if quarterly key performance indicators were met, and an agreed guaranteed overtime of 26 Sundays per year at time and three quarters, if we choose to work them, making the salary a livable London wage. However, back in Nov 2016, a different company won the concession, and are now my employer. Annual bonuses are now due, and we have been informed only days before payment that only two quarters will be paid to us, instead of the four. Our current employer will pay us for the two quarters worked under the previous concession holder, April 2016 - Nov 2016, but no bonuses are being paid to staff for the two quarters that we have worked for THEM, from last Nov until current. I have found my original contract with the company who previously ran the concession, stating the guaranteed 26 Sundays per year at the agreed overtime rate of time and three quarters, as the new concession holder is intending to stop that overtime for us too, in a bid to make them part of the normal contracted hours of the working week, in addition to refusing to pay bonuses due to us. I believe the bonus scheme came into play a while after my original contract with the initial concession holder, and is therefore not included in it, but i am sure that i would have received paperwork confirmation of the bonus scheme at the time of it's implementation, but i just can't seem to lay my hands on it right now, but i will carry on looking for it, for it's something i know i would have definitely have kept if i'd had any. Please can someone advise me of the new concession holder's obligations to US, the revenue staff, that they inherited with the takeover regarding both of these situations. Do our contracts stating the guaranteed overtime and rate, and bonus agreement (if i can find it) still stand for a period of time after their takeover, or are we completely at their mercy? Is the fact that the new concession holder is paying us the two quarters we worked under the previous one this financial year, admittance in itself that they know of the agreement, and constitutes proof thereof? Any advice or help gratefully received.

    Kind regards

    Last edited by RiaWoody; 5th May 2017, 00:04:AM.
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  • #2
    Re: Obligations to existing staff when there is a company takeover? Please help!

    Hi @ RiaWoody. Can I firstly suggest that you amend your post to redact the various employers names.

    The issues you are detailing come under TUPE (which stands for Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment). Firstly does your contract of employment with the company you were in until Nov 2016 really guarantee the amount of overtime and the rates that would be paid? It may include the 'rules' on overtime, for example that you get "time and three quarters", and that it applies on certain days or after certain hours have been worked but actual guarantees are rare. This is the same with bonuses. So I would need to review some redacted documentation on both these points to establish the facts.

    Under TUPE changes to employees’ terms and conditions if the sole or principal reason is the transfer will be void. However changes may be valid if the sole or principal reason is an economic, technical or organisational reason entailing changes in the workforce. In the case of overtime and bonuses it may be argued by the new employer that this is an economic reason.
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
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