ISBA and IPA reveal Tupe plan

The ISBA and the IPA launch plan to avoid problems caused by new employment laws.

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) and the Institute of Practioners in Advertising (IPA) have launched a plan to avoid problems caused by new employment laws. The legal changes mean agencies are affected if an account moves agencies.

The plan is a response to concerns by the industry about the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations Act, or Tupe, which came in to force on April 6 (MW 23 March).

The law aims protect the employment rights of staff who transfer from one company to another, but it has been slammed as unworkable in creative industries, where pitching for new business is part of the process.

An ISBA spokesman says that both clients and agencies were uncertain about the long-term impact on relationships.

The new legislation could mean that if an advertiser switches business to a new agency there is a requirement to transfer staff, their contracts and any liabilities to the new agency.

This week (Monday), over 200 advertisers and agencies attended a briefing session arranged by the IPA and ISBA to outline and discuss the issues. The protocol, which would be adapted as case law and practice develops, has been developed by law firm Lewis Silkin. A finalised protocol document is expected to be circulated to agencies and advertisers by the end of November.

The protocol involves agencies pitching for a client account consenting to enter into an agreement with the incumbent agency to provide indemnity over the effect of Tupe.

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