Adhering to TUPE regulations

5th of July, 2011 Bookmark and Share

What is TUPE?

To safeguard employees' terms and conditions of employment in the event of business transfers, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations were introduced in 2006, sometimes known as TUPE Regs. This refers to a merger between two companies, or when a business is sold in part or in its entirety. It also applies to service transfers, for example when a piece of work previously done in-house is outsourced to a contractor and vice versa, or when a contract is reassigned to another third party provider.

To clarify whether TUPE regulations apply to your particular situation, clients can contact the 24 hour legal advice line to discuss their circumstances with a professional.

TUPE and employers law

TUPE applies when the criteria detailed in the TUPE Regs is met. This means that all employment contracts with the original service provider or business owner (Transferor) will be automatically transferred to the new one (Transferee). Identical terms and conditions of employment must be maintained.

TUPE regulations for the Transferor:

The complexity of the rules that govern TUPE transfers needs to be acknowledged. Both the Transferor and the Transferee are legally bound to consult with all affected employees, through an employee representative or trade union before the transfer takes place.

Written details of all the affected staff and their contracts must be provided by the Transferor to the Transferee before the transfer. This provision is known as NELI, or notification of employee liability information.

Under TUPE, contract terms cannot be changed before the transfer from when the transferor becomes aware that it will be taking place.

Post-transfer, the Transferee must ensure:

For all affected employees, the previous terms and conditions of employment should be maintained. That includes all accrued holiday entitlement. The Transferee is obliged to provide a pension scheme meeting minimum standards laid out in the Pension Act 2004, and which is equivalent to the scheme implemented by the Transferor, although actual pension rights will not transfer.

In certain situations cuts to the workforce can be made post-transfer; however, only if you have an economic, technical or organisational (ETO) cause. Professional advice is available through the Peninsula 24 hour advice hotline, if you believe this may be relevant to your situation. Transferred and original employees are eligible for the same redundancy payments and should be given the same consideration if you do need to make redundancies.

It is worth noting that failing to abide by TUPE regulations or not providing a TUPE consultation could lead to employers being taken to employment tribunal for failure to consult or unfair dismissal. UK-based Transferors with staff overseas, as well as small businesses, are all bound by TUPE. Peninsula clients can find out more about TUPE through the BusinessWise advice centre, or look through the employers advice guide for information on any employment law topic.

If you're a member of the media and need any further information, would like to discuss case studies for a particular feature, or be added to our media contact list, please contact Sammual-James McLoughlin, Head of Media, Press and Public Relations at Peninsula Business Services.


Sammual-James McLoughlin
Sammual-James McLoughlin is Head of Media, Press & Public Relations at Peninsula Business Services. If you are a member of the media and need any further assistance, or want to be added to our media contact list, feel free to contact me.