The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) is recommending that advertising agencies abolish dedicated account teams altogether to avoid problems over new European employment laws, which come into effect in two weeks’ time.
The new Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) could mean that an agency that wins business from a rival agency is required to employ all of the incumbent agency’s staff who worked on that account.
For example, following Orange’s decision to move its UK ad account out of Mother and into Fallon, Fallon could theoretically be forced to offer jobs to all of Mother’s Orange account team. Fallon may also find that it has to pay these new staff according to their old contracts, which may not be in line with the rest of their employees.
The TUPE regulations strictly apply only to staff who are assigned to work on a particular account on a full-time basis.
The IPA, in conjunction with specialist employment lawyers Fox Williams, is holding a breakfast meeting this week to highlight the potential problems with TUPE.
The IPA and Fox Williams point out that staff do not have to exercise their rights under the TUPE regulations, and suggest that agencies should rewrite their standard employment contracts and the contracts they sign with clients to minimise potential problems.
They also suggest that agencies should increase the number of contractors it uses, cutting back on direct employees.