TUPE* regulations protect the rights of employees when the ownership of a UK business is transferred to new owners.
As an employee, you have a legal right to transfer to the new business under the same terms and conditions that you have with your existing employer.
Before the TUPE process starts, your employer must consult with you, either directly or through your employee representative, giving sufficient time for you to consider your options and take advice. There is no set timetable for consultations. However, there are severe penalties for both existing and future employers who do not inform, consult or disclose information.
If your current employer does not inform and consult with you properly, then you have a right to take the issue to an employment tribunal, which can award compensation equivalent to 13 week’s pay for every employee affected.
If there are likely to be any changes after the transfer, the new owner must disclose these to your employer so that they can be discussed with you. If this is not done, the new employer can be liable to a fine of up to £500 per employee.
If you have worked for your employer for more than 2 years, you cannot be dismissed solely for reasons to do with the transfer. Even if your dismissal is to do with the transfer, it may still be unfair and you should get professional advice as soon as possible.
TUPE applies to both business transfers and changes to service and provision.
Business transfers – where sections or all of the business is sold to a new owner. Transfers can also include business mergers, in which case, the new business must have a new identity.
Service provision changes – when a service normally provided in house is outsourced, or moved to a new contractor at the end of the contract or the work is transferred in house. Employees are not protected if the goods supplied under the contract are just for the company’s use, or for a one off event.
*The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 and amended by the Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, applies to all businesses, regardless of size and number of employees.
How we can help
If you are affected by a business transfer or changes to service provision, our specialist employment law team can make sure that you are fully aware of all your rights under TUPE regulations and can advise you whatever stage the process is at.
If you would like more information or just want a confidential, no obligation chat about your options, contact our highly experienced team today.