There are numerous possible legal models for integration, each with different implications for the employment of staff.
Successful implementation will inevitably include careful analysis of the pre-and post-integration staffing structures, and detailed project planning. TUPE transfers (if required) will involve dealing with both the legal requirements of the regulations and also with the practical staffing issues such as:
- secondment or transfer of staff – what are the pros and cons and do you have a choice?
- allocation of shared corporate services and staff to the integrated service
- relocating staff – how mobility clauses work
- implementation of new management and reporting lines
- post-transfer organisational change
- dealing with pensions and other rights deriving from pension schemes
- transfer or sharing of employee records
Employers need to have a clear understanding of their legal position and an ability to work constructively with their staff and unions should any issues arise, ensuring these issues can be more easily resolved.
Staff engagement and consultation
Staff will be far more amenable to the prospect of change to an integrated service model if they feel that they have had some involvement in the implementation of the process.
If integration is going to involve a TUPE transfer and/or twenty or more redundancies, collective consultation with the unions will be a legal requirement. Even if there is no strict legal duty to do it, sensible and constructive consultation will invariably be good practice and will assist with staff morale and engagement.