01 April 2014
Employment negotiate mass settlement agreements following restructure of leisure business
After being purchased by an overseas company, a team of B P Collins employment lawyers were instructed to attend the UK offices of a Thames Valley based outdoor apparel manufacturer to advise on settlement agreements arising from a reorganisation that triggered a potential TUPE transfer.
We advised over 50 employees on their employment situation. A significant majority of the employees were potentially entitled to transfer their employment to the new European base as a result of the cross-border TUPE transfer but had chosen not to due to the need to relocate.
An additional complication was that each employee was required to complete a handover period to enable the transfer of functions to the new European base and complete a second signing of the agreement following the handover. This involved negotiating the extent of the handover clauses in the agreements to ensure they were balanced on both sides.
The settlement agreements also included salary details, payment in lieu of notice, a retention bonus based on objectives and an ex-gratia payment calculated on the employees length of service. The team (which included Kathryn Fielder and Chris Brazier) also advised each employee on their potential claims including unfair dismissal linked to a TUPE transfer and discrimination.
During the course of the negotiations, the team were able to craft effective settlement agreements by maintaining close contact with the employees and liaising effectively with the UK HR Manager. This was particularly necessary where amendments to the agreements were a necessary to cater for specific circumstances of the individuals.