Long explanation alert!
I work in licensed retail in a concessions environment. 3 weeks before xmas we were told that negotiations with the concession owners for renewal of contract with the company I work for had not been successful and a different company providing almost exactly the same offer would be taking the contract although we were not given a date as to when this would all be taking place, probably April sometime.
My line manager told me verbally at the time that his area manager had told him that TUPE regulations would apply and that if we wished we could TUPE over to the new company or if not then I would be able to stay with the current company and they would find me a position in another outlet (current company have almost 1000 outlets nationwide). I received the same information verbally from the area manager himself and was told not to worry about things.
Yesterday we had our first meeting with someone from head office personnel dept. and the story is totally different!
We have been given a date in 2 & a bit weeks time as the closing date, then at that time we will automatically become TUPE'd over to the new company and be working for them.
The only option we have been given to stay with the current company is to apply for a vacancy on the internal vacancy web site and get transferred in that 2 weeks!!. At no time has any mention been made of any redundancy package, it's been a case of 'you've got a job with them or you can resign from them'. basically it seems like we have been sold along with the furniture to the new company.
We have been told there will be a TUPE meeting with the new company but have not been told when and to phone that new company if we have any questions ( but were not given any contact details )
BTW my line manager is in exactly the same boat apparently and is dumbstruck! First time I have even know him not to know what to say or where to find out the information if he didn't know.
I know several people that work for the new company and they are not that good to work for and although I understand my basic hourly rate is protected, the whole package for the new company is significantly lower (no share scheme,bonuses,long service extra leave etc, all of which are non-contractual & discretionary so in my understanding are not protected)
I have been with the current company almost 5 years( in fact I gain 1 off of an extra 5 days holiday as a long service bonus 3 weeks after the close date and have been told I will lose that:|)
The new company will not be opening immediately as the unit will be redeveloped and the planned new opening date is in 2 months time, leaving me with nowhere to work for 6 weeks.
Strangely enough despite the way this has just been handled I want to continue with my current company, day to day they are great to work for, although that might just be because I have a good line manager.
So that's the background, now the questions:
1: Does my current company have any legal responsibility to find me a position within another of their units?
2: Should my current company be offering me some sort of redundancy package as an alternative to TUPE'ing over ( is that a word?) or is it just a case of sold with the furniture?
3: Does the new company have to honour outstanding holiday earned or should my current company be paying this as a lump sum on leaving?
4: I am on a zero hours contract (although I have consistently worked between 35 & 40 hours a week for my whole 5 years with the current company), so for the 6 weeks does the new company, if I TUPE over, have any legal responsibility to find me work or pay me?
5: Should the current company be giving me more time to attempt to find a position within their other units myself?
I know several of the managers at other units and I could probably get a position with one of them, but the head office person said it needs to be done before the closure and via the official internal job application process, interviews etc. (which takes weeks) otherwise it could be considered as the company discriminating against the other staff (i.e. why are they being transferred and not me).
Any help or advice would be much appreciated