Changes to terms and conditions by reason of a transfer may be lawful under new regulations.
Currently, changes to terms and conditions will be void if the sole or principal reason for the change is the transfer itself, or a reason connected with the transfer which is not an economic, technical or organisational (ETO) reason entailing changes in the workforce. Changes to terms are permitted if the sole or principal reason for the change is unconnected with the transfer, or a reason connected to the transfer which is an ETO reason.
The 2014 Regulations retain the general proviso that changes to terms and conditions will be void if the transfer is the sole or principal reason for the changes, but now appear to allow for the possibility that changes by reason of the transfer itself can be lawful where an ETO reason applies, subject to employee agreement or the terms of the contract permitting the change.
In addition, the restrictions on variation of terms and conditions will not apply to terms incorporated from a collective agreement if those variations take place more than a year after the date of the transfer, on the condition that following the variation the employee’s contract is overall no less favourable than it was prior to the variation.