The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 is more commonly known as TUPE. The purpose of TUPE is to protect employees if the business in which they are employed changes hands. The effect of TUPE is to transfer all employees and their rights and liabilities associated with them from the old employer to the new employer.
TUPE can apply in many different cases. Set out below are some examples of when TUPE may apply:
- When employers sell or buy all or pat of a business as a going concern
- When an employer outsources a service or makes a service provision change
- Where an employer grants or takes over a lease of licence of premises and operates the same business from those premises.
TUPE is intended to provide a safeguard for all employees so any dismissal before or after the transfer or any changes in terms and conditions of employment which is connected with the transfer itself could potential give rise to an unfair dismissal claim. If you are the transferee, then your employee could have a case against you as the new employer.
Under TUPE there is also an obligation to consult long enough before the transfer with either the Trade Union or if there is not one, then elected staff representatives. It is important that elections and consultation is carried out in accordance with the requirements stipulated under TUPE as failure to do so could be costly.
If you are in the process of being taken over by another business or you are buying a business that has employees or you are party to a service provision change or the outsourcing of a service, it is highly advisable to seek legal advice to find out if TUPE applies and if so, what to do. If you need specialist legal advice on this area please Contact Us for an initial consultation.