TUPE - Transfers

If you are an employer transferring a business or service, then you need to be aware of your TUPE obligations which can provide protection to your employees' rights when the business changes hands.

At Judge and Priestley, our employment specialists will assist you with understanding your obligations and how they will affect the transfer of your business or service.  We also advise employees who feel that their rights under TUPE have not been adhered to and assist them in protecting their interests.

What is TUPE? 

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) Regulations 2006 have been in force since 6 April 2006.  They may apply in two situations, firstly, where a business is transferred through sale or merger etc and secondly, when service provisions transfer, i.e. a new contractor takes over the delivery of service from another contractor.

What Rights are Protected by TUPE?

In broad terms, TUPE:

  • automatically transfers all the employees working in the organisation together with their contracts of employment (subject to their individual right to object and excluding certain rights in relation to occupational pension schemes) to the transferor;
  • transfers liability in respect of employees dismissed by the transferor in advance of the transfer if the reason for dismissal was connected with the transfer;
  • renders any dismissal where the sole or principal reason for that dismissal is the transfer automatically unfair (unless there is an 'economic, technical or organisational' reason i.e. an ETO reason for the dismissal);
  • transfers any trade union recognition in respect of the transferred employees;
  • transfers any collective agreements (agreements with trade unions) applicable to the transferred employees
  • requires the provision of information to, and (where measures are proposed in connection with the transfer) consultation with, representatives of the affected employees;
  • requires the supply of employee liability information by the transferor to the transferee in respect of the transferring employees;
  • permits certain variations to employees' contracts where a relevant transfer occurs in the context of insolvency: in other situations the scope for varying contracts is very limited.

If you are planning on transferring a business or contract, or have been adversely affected by such a transfer then please call Paul Stevens on 0208 290 7422 or email Paul on pstevens@judge-priestley.co.uk to organise an appointment with one of our employment team or fill in our contact form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.