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  • Anyone know about the law around pay and TUPE rights?
  • lyrikal
    Free Member

    This could get long winded but basically looking some advise on pay and conditions rights after an amalgamation of two ‘companies’

    So, I am in a role within a ‘company’ that amalgamated with another. My job role didn’t change and I joined others doing the same job at the same pay grade. They have an hour less to work in a week and 3 days more holidays than I have. I have a 1.5% allowance for being on call that they don’t have. We are all on the same pay grade.

    A year after the amalgamation we all received new terms and conditions and job description. I found out that my conditions were different from theirs in that I had lost my allowance yet they retained the extra holidays and less hours. I refused to sign at the time and asked as to why I was denied the 1.5 % yet the remaining staff from the other company retained their extras. I was told I would continue to receive the 1.5% for a further 2 years as it was protected under the company pay protection.

    So now a year later a cost of living upgrade was agreed nationally and an additional 1% was added to the basic pay grade. I was given that 1% in April but got an email last month asking to pay it back and had it removed from this month’s pay.

    I now find myself in the situation that I am on the same grade as the others in my role but not getting the 1% increase they and everyone else in the country got. From speaking to hr it was not given as I am in receipt of the on call allowance therefore not entitled to the increase. I queried this and the additional benefits my colleagues were in receipt of, the answer was that it would cost too much to buy them out of their contact. On my case, they were sticking with it and I wasn’t getting my 1%.

    I find myself in the situation that I am now working a longer week, I get less holidays and now get less pay despite being in the same job and the same grade as my colleagues. So my question is, is this legal and is there anything I can do? Unfortunately I am not in a position to move job and left feeling that I just have to roll over to it. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

    PS this is all covered by TUPE, I’m told my allowance will cease after 3 years as I am no longer protected.

    Free Member

    Employment solicitor.

    My NHS trust tried this when we merged with two others, verbally told staff that everyone would be on the same T&Cs but in reality left one trust alone with their pre-existing favorable contracts….they explained it would be too expensive to put everyone on that deal….not good enough said the unions, they consulted a legal firm who told the trust in no uncertain terms that they would have to uplift the two other trusts to match the excellent T&Cs the remaining trust enjoyed or tweek the contracts of the staff at the favoured trust to come down to the level of the two that were on poorer deals.
    Obviously staff felt a bit crap at potentially stuffing others at the favoured trust by having poorer terms imposed on them but the gamble worked and the trust relented and boosted everyone’s contracts to reflect the favourable terms of the trust we’d merged with.
    Still boggles me that management try this kind of thing when the law is usually straight forward.

    Free Member

    This is local authority so similar to NHS, it is a very confusing picture as most staff have had upgrades and some secured roles in lower pay grades. I am one of the very few who haven’t changed job or role. My pay grade hasn’t changed. I have been docked pay however as it was seen unfair that I got an additional 1.5% and that has now been taken from my wages. The HR department claim they have legal advice that states they can remove my 1.5% atypical allowance but don’t have to treat the more favorable conditions of the other employees in the same way.

    Because I find myself in a minority, possibly only 2 staff who have not had a change of role or an upgrade, I feel I am only singling myself out in raising this and put in a position that I have no choice but shut up. Sit at my desk and do my job with those in the same office, doing the same job, with a shorter working week, more holidays and now better pay. I’m not one to complain usually as I normally just get on with my job, but I guess you only kick an old dog so many times before it bites back.

    Really frustrating being up against the system. I am in the union but unfortunately the union is stronger on the other side than it ever was on mine.

    Free Member

    Interesting that you say the law is straight forward in this regard. I totally agree, my role isn’t legal but I deal with legislation so know how to interpret it. I have read the details around TUPE and it is clear I’m losing a right of my contract purely due to the amalgamation. To be honest I wouldn’t care, it’s hardly a fortune, but the frustration is that my colleagues who have much more favorable terms than I have are not losing out in any way.

    Free Member

    Binging this up again for the weekday crowd. Plus just received an email saying they are right and I’m wrong, you are not getting your 1% cost of living upgrade

    Full Member

    I know nothing about the legalities.

    Are the others doing on-call work without the 1.5%?

    If they are, you’re still getting 0.5% more for your extra hours / less holiday (don’t know if o.5% bump in salary covers that?).

    If they aren’t doing on call then I think you’re getting screwed (sorry).

    Full Member

    IANAL but work for a company that grows a lot through acquisitions so often TUPE’s people in and we have regular contract changes to reflect it.

    I’m not sure your case is a clear-cut violation of TUPE, it sounds more like you’re getting shafted a bit as you’re in the minority.

    IME the people that TUPE in with better benefits than the company offer are usually offered a compensation deal initially (e.g. lose your mortgage subsidy and the company will compensate the salary to the same amount). But as this usually puts them on a higher salary than those doing the same job they usually get shafted on pay rises for the next few years as a result (we effectively have individual pay rises based on a number of things so it’s easy to manipulate…).

    Holiday allowance seems to be a trickier one, I know the company offer compensation for those TUPEing in with more holiday than the company standard but I know a lot of people don’t take up the offer and in some cases 5+ years later still have their additional days holiday so I guess it must be harder/impossible to force employees to give those up?

    Working hours took a long time to sort as well but they did move those working 35 hours to the standard 37.5 (with compensation) but not sure how mandatory that was (possibly some people were left on 35 hours if they refused to sign the new contract).

    You seem to be getting shafted more because it’s not a direct TUPE violation (they protect your TUPE 1.5% but claw some back with not giving you the pay rise). The question I would be asking is more around the terms attached to the 1% pay rise, are you in a salary band or a fixed salary for the role? You shouldn’t have been singled out specifically but if it’s a band and some people are near the top of it I could see a company might want to save a bit of money and not offer them the rise but if you have unions etc. I’d have thought that needs to be made clear

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