What Are the TUPE Regulations? A Beginner’s Guide.
When a business undergoes a change in ownership or transfers its operations, it is essential to protect the rights and interests of employees involved. In England and Wales, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 as amended in 2014 (TUPE) play a crucial role in safeguarding employees’ rights during such transfers. In this blog, we will provide a beginner’s guide to understanding the TUPE regulations and their implications.
1. What is TUPE?
TUPE stands for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations. These regulations were introduced to implement the European Union’s Acquired Rights Directive and aim to protect employees’ rights when a business or undertaking is transferred from one employer to another.
2. When Do TUPE Regulations Apply?
The TUPE regulations apply in two main situations:
a) Business Transfers: When a business or part of a business is transferred from one entity to another, whether by sale, merger or other means.
b) Service Provision Changes: When a service provided by one entity is transferred to another entity, such as outsourcing, insourcing or change of service provider.
3. Key Principles of TUPE:
The TUPE regulations are based on the following key principles:
a) Automatic Transfer: Employees’ contracts of employment transfer automatically to the new employer, ensuring continuity of employment.
b) Preserved Terms and Conditions: Employees’ terms and conditions of employment, including pay, benefits, and length of service, are preserved after the transfer.
c) Employee Protection: Employees cannot be dismissed solely because of the transfer, and any dismissals related to the transfer may be deemed unfair.
d) Information and Consultation: Both the outgoing and incoming employers have a duty to inform and consult with employee representatives regarding the transfer.
4. Employee Rights and Protections:
Under TUPE, employees retain their existing rights and protections, including:
a) Continuity of Employment: Employees’ length of service is preserved, ensuring entitlement to statutory employment rights.
b) Contractual Terms: Employees’ terms and conditions of employment, such as pay, working hours, and holiday entitlement, remain unchanged.
c) Protection Against Unfair Dismissal: Employees cannot be dismissed solely due to the transfer, and any dismissals may be considered automatically unfair.
d) Collective Agreements: Existing collective agreements continue to apply to transferred employees.
5. Information and Consultation:
Both the outgoing and incoming employers have obligations to inform and consult with employee representatives regarding the transfer. This includes providing information about the transfer, its implications, and any proposed measures affecting employees.
6. Exceptions and Exemptions:
While TUPE generally applies to most business transfers and service provision changes, there are some exceptions and exemptions. For example, transfers involving a single employee, transfers of shares rather than assets, and certain insolvency situations may be exempt from full TUPE obligations.
The TUPE regulations are designed to protect employees’ rights and ensure a smooth transition during business transfers and service provision changes. By understanding the basic principles and implications of TUPE, both employers and employees can navigate these situations with clarity and fairness. It is important for businesses to seek legal advice and guidance to ensure compliance with TUPE regulations and to address any specific circumstances that may arise during a transfer of undertakings.
Alexander JLO’s expert employment lawyers are well-placed to advise employers and employees alike when it comes to any area of employment law. Why not contact us on 0207 537 7000 or email email@example.com for a free, no-obligation consultation and see what we can do for you?