Transfer of Undertakings (TUPE)

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If you are considering a merger, takeover, or selling a business to someone else, Blacks Solicitors’ experienced Employment Law team can help you with your obligations under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).

With change comes uncertainty. Mergers, takeovers, the sale of a business, or even outsourcing, can all create instability, insecurity, and uncertainty in the workplace.

When you transfer all or part of your business to another entity, employees will automatically transfer to their new employer and their Terms and Conditions of Employment remain the same under TUPE.

It’s not only the employment terms that transfer but other employment rights too such as: any holiday employees have accrued with their previous employer; and any outstanding claims they had against that employer.

Whenever a business is to be transferred, planning is vital to ensure all potential costs, obligations, and legal liabilities are addressed beforehand. Furthermore, when a TUPE transfer takes place, employers have a legal obligation to notify and consult with employees affected by that transfer. This may involve interaction with trade union officials or employee representatives and it is essential that the TUPE regulations are followed.

Employees must be told:

  • When and why a transfer of business is happening
  • What the impact on employees will be
  • Whether any “measures” (for example, re-organisation) will be taken, and how these measures will affect employees

The information must be given in good time, and the consultation must be carried out with the aim of coming to an agreement. If a re-organisation is planned, employee representatives may put forward affected employees’ views, and you must reply to these views and provide justification.

If a business fails to inform and consult it will give rise to a liability of up to 13 weeks’ pay for each employee who is affected.

If employees are dismissed for a reason connected with the transfer, this is automatically unfair, unless there is an ‘economic, technical or organisational’ (ETO) reason for the changes (i.e. in numbers or roles) in the workforce.

TUPE is one of the most complicated areas of employment law, however our expert Employment Law team have a significant amount of experience of advising clients on the issues which need to be addressed and can put you in the best possible position before a transfer takes place.

 

If you would like assistance with your obligations under TUPE, or for a free no obligation discussion, please email or call Blacks’ Employment Law team today on 0113 207 0000.