TUPE: what you need to know

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE 2006) exist to protect the rights of staff being transferred from one employer to another.

It applies to any business, whatever the size, that is operating in the UK at the time the transfer is agreed. It is an important aspect of any sale and you cannot avoid TUPE requirements.

When does TUPE apply?

Broadly speaking, TUPE applies when:

  • You transfer all or part of a business to a new owner, where it retains its identity as a going concern after the transfer
  • You transfer a service operation to a new provider, say if you outsource or if your contract is taken over by a new operator.

In these situations affected staff will have their employment contracts transferred to the new employer, as if it had originally been made with them.  Although there is a right for an employee to object to their employment being transferred, in practice this right is only exercised in very few situations.

This principle of automatic transfer of employment protects employees’ terms and conditions, salary entitlement and rights to benefits.

Approaching a TUPE process

Unless you are a seasoned HR professional it is important to seek advice on the TUPE process.

If you fail to complete it properly you lay yourself open to costly employment tribunal claims, harsh penalties and potentially a claim from the new employer.

Here are the key steps…

Consultation

If you are selling a business or operation you must inform and consult any staff who are being transferred or who might be affected by the transfer (including managers and supervisors).

Similarly, if you are taking a business or operation on, you must consult your existing staff if the transfer might affect them. This could include managers if their responsibilities were to increase.

Consultations must include employees’ representatives including unions or worker’s councils. Everything should be confirmed in writing and you should keep accurate records.

Disclosure

If you are transferring a business to another employer you must give complete written details of employee liabilities at least 14 days before the transfer is due to take place.

This should include name, age and employment details, their disciplinary and grievance records (including any past or outstanding claims), remuneration and pension rights.

This is not an exhaustive list. Basically, the incoming employer has the right to know exactly whom and what they are taking on. Take advice as failure to disclose could prove costly.

If you would like to discuss TUPE or any employment or business issue, please get in touch.

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE 2006) exist to protect the rights of staff being transferred from one employer to another.

It applies to any business, whatever the size, that is operating in the UK at the time the transfer is agreed. It is an important aspect of any sale and you cannot avoid TUPE requirements.


Here are the types of cases we handle:

  • Contracts of Employment
  • Employer Staff Handbooks
  • Redundancy Process
  • Breach of Contract
  • Breach of Restrictive Covenants
  • Tribunal Claims
  • Settlement Agreements
  • Consultancy Agreements

Sports and Football Law

  • Contracts of Employment
  • Service Agreements
  • Contractual Issues
  • Executive Departures

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