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TUPE contracts refer to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, which are designed to protect employees when a business is transferred from one employer to another. These regulations outline the process for transferring employees` employment contracts to the new employer, while also preserving their existing terms and conditions of employment.

However, there may be situations where the new employer needs to make changes to TUPE contracts. In this article, we will discuss when TUPE contracts can be changed and what factors need to be considered.

1. Economic, technical, or organizational reasons

The new employer may have legitimate reasons for making changes to TUPE contracts due to economic, technical, or organizational reasons. For example, the new employer may need to restructure the business to improve efficiency or reduce costs. In such cases, the changes made to TUPE contracts must be justified and communicated to the employees and their representatives.

2. Collective agreement

If the employees` old employer had a collective agreement in place, it will be transferred over to the new employer under TUPE. However, if the new employer is not bound by the collective agreement, they may choose to change the TUPE contracts to reflect their own policies and procedures.

3. Changes to the job duties

If the new employer wants to make changes to the employees` job duties, they may need to change the TUPE contracts. However, the changes must be reasonable and not significantly detrimental to the employees` terms and conditions of employment.

4. Consent from the employees

The employer can make changes to TUPE contracts with the consent of the employees. This consent needs to be given freely and not under any kind of duress. Furthermore, the employees` representatives should be informed and consulted about any proposed changes.

5. The need for harmonization

If the new employer has existing employees who are not covered by TUPE, they may choose to make changes to TUPE contracts to harmonize them with the rest of the workforce. However, this must be done fairly and without any kind of discrimination against the transferred employees.

In conclusion, TUPE contracts can be changed in certain circumstances, but any changes made must be justifiable, communicated clearly to the employees, and made in consultation with their representatives where required. When making any changes, the new employer must also ensure that they comply with TUPE and other employment laws to avoid any legal action being taken against them by the employees.