What is TUPE?
TUPE stands for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. The purpose of the legislation is to protect employees’ rights when there is a “relevant transfer”. Often there will be a relevant transfer when a business is sold to another company or when certain jobs are outsourced to a third party provider or brought back in-house when contractors are no longer used.
How are employees protected when TUPE applies?
Certain employees will, unless they object, be automatically transferred to the new business or service provider (unless there was an economic, technical or organisational [ETO] reason entailing changes to the workforce) on the same terms and conditions of employment.
What happens if TUPE applies but an employee is dismissed or their terms of employment are changed?
A dismissal will be automatically unfair if the sole or principal reason for the dismissal is the transfer itself. Even if the reason for dismissal was an ETO reason entailing changes to the workforce then it could still be an “ordinary” unfair dismissal. Changes to employees’ terms of employment will be void if the sole or principal reason for the change is the transfer itself unless the reason is an ETO reason entailing changes in the workforce or the terms of a contract allow for a particular change.
Employees’ right to be informed and consulted
Employees always have the right to be informed on every TUPE transfer although the duty to consult only arises where an employer envisages taking measures in respect of affected employees. Failure to comply with these obligations can allow employees to claim up to 13 weeks’ uncapped pay.
Why choose OWC?
TUPE is a very specialised and complex area of law and even many employment lawyers will be largely unfamiliar with it. We have experience assisting employees in this area and can provide clear advice and robust representation to ensure that your rights are enforced.
Contact our Employment Law Solicitors in London, Surrey and Middlesex