European Communities (Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations, 2003
The Regulations are aimed at safeguarding the rights of employees in the event of a transfer of an undertaking, business or part of a business to another employer as a result of a legal transfer of merger.
These Regulations provide for:
• The rights and obligations arising from an employment contract or relationship or transfer from the original employer to the new employer;
• The new employer must continue to observe the terms and conditions of any collective agreement until it expires or is superseded;
• The interests of employees and persons no longer employed in the original employer’s business at the time of the transfer in respect of immediate or prospective rights to old age, invalidity or survivor’s benefits, under supplementary company pension or inter company pension schemes outside the Social Welfare Acts must be protected by the new employer;
• an employee may not be dismissed solely on the grounds of the transfer of an undertaking, business or part of a business by either the new employer or the old employer, however dismissals may take place for economic, technical or organisational reasons entailing changes in the workforce;
If an employment is terminated because a transfer involves substantial deterioration in the working conditions of the employee, the employer concerned shall be regarded as having been responsible for the termination.
The original employer and the new employer must consult their respective employees not later than 30 days before the transfer occurs and in any event in good time and (in the case of the new employer) in any event, before his/her employees are directly affected by the transfer as regards their conditions of work and employment concerning:
• the reasons for the transfer;
• the legal, economic and social implications of the transfer for the employees; and the measures envisaged in relation to the employees.
If the new or old employer involved in a transfer envisage measures in relation to their employees, they must consult representatives of the employees where reasonably practicable not later than 30 days before the transfer occurs and in any event in good time on such measures with a view to seeking agreement.
Representatives in relation to employees employed in an undertaking business or part of a business who are affected or likely to be affected by the transfer of undertaking business or part of a business means trade unions, staff association or excepted body with which it has been the practice of the employee’s employer to conduct collective bargaining negotiations or in the absence of such a person or persons chosen under an arrangement put in place by the employer by such employees from among their number to represent them in negotiations with the employer.
An employee or trade union, staff association or excepted body on behalf of an employee may present a complaint to the Rights Commissioner that an employer has not complied with regulations in relation to information and consultation of employee.
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