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Is this legal?

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conzdad | 18:45 Fri 13th Nov 2009 | Law
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I am currently working as a meter reader in the North West( a job which I love) my company has lost a big contract,now because of the current climate some of us have been put on a (questionable list) without consultation to be passed over to a new company under TUPE. This new company will take us for 3 months on the same pay as now less bonuses and then at the end of the 3 months if we dont buy a franchise from this company (meter u ) then we will be made redundant.I for one and others cannot afford and do not want to buy a franchise from this company especially after what I and others have read about them. Plus during the 3 months if we dont reach our targets set of 76% we will be shown the door.I dont want to work under that situation as the areas which I currently work to reach the target I would have to be working all hours just to try and catch someone in and with the new company if I dont get a read I dont get paid,whereas currently I do.Is this legal as I dont want to lose my job.

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How long have you worked there?
Or better still use the resident HR advisors on Answerbank?

Under TUPE, the new company has to transfer you under the same basic T&Cs of employment, however the problem here is going to be whether your existing bonus scheme is contractual or not. TUPE doesn't protect you from the loss of your job through redundancy (though some people seem to think it does), it does protect you from changes to your conditions of employment. So if it is 'acceptable' now to operate at 76% of target levels (albeit without earning much in the way of bonus) without your job being at risk of dismissal, I don't believe that it can suddenly change to it being unacceptable under the new employer. To dismiss you, the dismissal must be 'fair' (fair in the eyes of the law as distinct from being just) - and that doesn't sound fair to me - Any attempt at dismissal for not hitting targets would have to be on capability grounds and the company would need to take you though a Warnings disciplinery process first - that takes time because you need adequate time in which to improve your performance.
As to whether they could make you redundant after 3 months, this sounds very dodgy. As a franchise-holder you would not be an employee, surely, you would be self-employed. So they appear to be threatening you with redundancy because the business activity is ceasing, because they have decided to change the business model to employ only franchise-holders? Very dodgy. Try talking to ACAS or CAB, as Ahm suggests.
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Thanks for your input guys,I have worked for current employer for 2 years and yes I am a union member and to be honest its in the hands of the unions lawyers but they dont seem to be working fast enough as the switch over to this meter u is 2 weeks away.I dont mind losing my bonuses of £2,500 per year as long as I have a guaranteed wage so I know where I stand regards paying my mortgage and bills every month which I wont if I took this franchise as I said I dont want to as I would have to pay them £800 for then supply my own vehiclle which I dont have as the wife needs it for her job,pay for my own fuel then work all unsociable hours to make anywhere near what I take home now,therefore no family or social life.If you went over to the job section on this site and read about meter reading you would find out what people are saying about this meter u and why I dont want to be a franchisee with them.

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