Complying with TUPE
The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) are designed to protect the rights of employees if an organisation or service is transferred to a new employer.
They apply to both the outgoing and incoming employer, who must comply with the regulations before, during and after the transfer.
Government statistics suggest that the number of TUPE transfers in the UK is increasing each year, affecting millions of workers and making it absolutely essential for your business to be aware of what these regulations entail.
When does TUPE apply?
There are two scenarios where your business will be affected by TUPE:
This occurs if a business (or part of one) is moved to a new owner. It may also apply to situations where two businesses merge and create one new employer.
In most cases, a business can be said to have been transferred if its core assets (e.g. premises, employees, equipment) are being used for the same purpose or activity as they were previously.
Service provision changes
TUPE would apply if:
- A service is outsourced – i.e. work previously done by an organisation themselves is given to a contractor
- A service is insourced – i.e. work previously done by a contractor is brought back into the organisation
- A service is re-tendered – i.e. a company changes contractors
In both scenarios, there are many variables that will affect how TUPE is applied, or even if it is applied at all, so it is advisable to consult with employment law experts to decide what your next step should be.
If you are acting under TUPE, one of the key requirements is to keep employees informed about what is going on at every stage. This can involve anything from ensuring processes and systems are amended in line with changes made to the business, to letting staff know about the possibility of redundancies. Failure to do so could have serious consequences for your business.
Keeping up with TUPE changes
While there is plenty of government literature that will tell you more about TUPE, these documents also make clear that their information is not a substitute for legal advice. It is vital that you speak to experienced employment solicitors to ensure full compliance with the law.
TUPE was updated in 2014 to incorporate nine changes, and with Davis Blank Furniss Solicitors rest assured that the information you are given will be as up to date as possible.