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Problems caused by tupe


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Hi, I have a question relating to TUPE and wonder if anyone can help. My husband worked as a contractor for a large IT company through a third party: the company who had been awarded the contract to supply staff to the IT Company. He was paid by the third party company, not the IT company for whom he indirectly worked. Some of the employees who worked through the third party company (the "Agency") were permanent employees, but the majority worked as contractors, as in my husband's case.

 

A few years down the line, the IT company put the contract out to tender again. The contract was awarded to a different company (Agency, for want of a better word) who would now be supplying staff to the IT company, as the previous third party company had now, of course, lost the contract.

 

The new Agency Tuped over the existing members of staff who were the permanent employees (though it's important to remember that these permanent employees did not, at any time, work dirctly for the IT Company (the customer) - they worked indirectly through the previous Agency (contract holder who supplieid the staff).

 

My husband, and some of his colleagues, whilst doing exactly the same job as the permanent members of staff, were offered the opportunity to also keep their jobs (so in other words, the exact same role that they had previously been carrying out) but at a vastly reduced rate - around £12,000 p.a. less. They are now also permanent employees of the "Agency."

 

The staff being tuped, of course, remained on their old salaries and I believe have also been receiving regular pay increases since.

 

Previously, although some members of staff working for the agency had been permanent and some contractors, they were on the same rate of pay, as they were all doing exactly the same job.

 

However, several years down the line, my husband and a few of his colleagues are still on the same low wage and the tuped employees are sitting next to them, doing identical jobs (this isn't a case where anyone could justify that the roles differ slightly etc - they are the exact same roles, and they do the exact same job, with the exact job title, earning at least £12-15,000 a year more, possibly more now, due to the pay rises it is believed they have received). Also, my husband is better qualified than the members of staff earning the higher amounts- both in terms of his educational background and also due to training he has since carried out at the request of the employer, which the TUPEd members of staff have no interest in doing, even though the employer would like all staff to achieve the additional qualifications. However, despite achieving these qualifications at the employers request, there has been no payrise, no incentive at all.

 

Obviously, this is a very unfair situation, where two people doing the exact same job can have such a vast difference between their earnings. My husband has not received any pay increases (even in line with inflation) and therefore each new year is running at a loss. He has applied for a lot of jobs elsewhere, but there just isn't anything much around and his other colleagues, also on the lower wage have obviously found this to be the case also.

 

We find it very difficult to manage on my husband's salary and I can't see how this isn't discriminatory, when one employee and another (it is at least three years since the higher earners were TUPED) are earning completely different amounts for identical jobs.

 

Was Tupe even relevant in this case, as the permanent employees worked for an agency who lost the contract. The contract was awarded to a new agency, but would they, in this sitation, be required to tupe over employees from the previous agency, who merely supplied staff to the "customer" - the IT company.

 

Do we have any legal comeback with regards to this?

 

Many thanks, Magda

Edited by MAGDA
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