MexxaMixx is a Kent-based business which manufactures and sells a range of Mexican style cooking sauces. Following the purchases of the entire share capital of the manufacturer, orders have been running smoothly as MexxaMixx is able to control production itself.
Thomas approached Thomson Snell & Passmore regarding an employee in the manufacturing company. Thomas told us that following the share purchase MexxaMixx had taken full control of the manufacturer; appointing its own directors and was planning to implement the MexxaMixx staff handbook and policies to integrate the employees into the MexxaMixx way of working.
MexxaMixx would like the employee to work at its headquarters with its existing finance team, rather than in the factory three miles away. The employee has questioned this proposal and claimed that the transfer of undertakings regulations (TUPE) prohibits changes to her terms of employment following an acquisition.
We advised Thomas that ordinarily TUPE does not apply to share acquisitions as employees normally remain employed by the same company. However, where the subsidiary is intergrated into the buyer then there may be a TUPE transfer of the employees to the buyer.
Our Employment Team advised Thomas that to pursue the integration may mean a TUPE transfer will occur and thought should be given to when the integration takes place and how it is presented to employees. It is important to identify when a TUPE transfer will take place as the employer has obligations to inform and consult before any transfer.
However, TUPE should not prevent MexxaMixx's proposal to move the finance manager to a different location. Although TUPE normally prohibits changes to return of employment on a transfer, recent amendments clarify that a change of location is not prohibited.
We assisted Thomas with drafting a letter to the employee setting out why the location change is necessary and inviting her to attend a meeting to discuss the proposal, including why it is beneficial for the finance teams to be based at the same site.
The employee accepted it was a sensible proposal and agree to the change in her place of work.Our clear advice helped MexxaMixx to resolve the situation with the employee quickly. The finance staff all now work together, making managing this aspect of the business easier.
First published by Sevenoaks Chronicle, September 2015.