Changing terms of employment

As the transferee takes on the transferring employees on their existing terms of employment, any changes to their terms of employment will be void if the sole or principal reason for the change is either:

  • the transfer itself, or
  • a reason connected with a transfer which is not an economic, technical or organisational reason entailing changes in the workforce (ETO reason).

However, it is possible to make changes to employment terms before or after a transfer where the sole or principal reason is either a reason unconnected with the transfer or a reason connected with the transfer which is an ETO reason.

For example, pre-transfer changes to terms and conditions which are made to increase productivity. This might involve harmonising terms and conditions, but if the main driver is to increase productivity and harmonisation is merely a consequence, the changes are not connected with the transfer.

It is important to note that employees can claim constructive dismissal if their employer makes substantialchanges to their terms and conditions of employment to their detriment e.g. a significant change to working conditions.