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TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006) relates to the protection of employee rights on the sale of a business or the contracting out of services. It has proved to be a controversial piece of legislation because, although the regulations provide protection to employees, they do not sit comfortably with the concept of outsourcing services to improve them and reduce costs.
Glanvilles solicitors have advised on TUPE related actions from the outset and have protected and supported the interests of both employers and employees in such cases.
TUPE applies to many different types of business transactions and should be a consideration every time the business is involved in outsourcing, in-sourcing, acquiring or selling part or all of a business. Glanvilles can advise and help you comply with every aspect of the regulations.
If you take over a company, part of a company or the service of a company, you may have a legal obligation to take on those employees who were part of that business at the time of the transfer. These employees must be taken on the same terms and conditions of employment as their previous employment.
An employee's dismissal, if related to the transfer will be automatically treated as unfair unless there is an economic, technical or organisational reason to justify dismissal. The employee will be entitled to bring an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal provided they have at least 2 years continuous service (1 year if employed prior to 6th April 2012). The new employer could also face paying collective awards to all relevant employees of up to 13 weeks pay.
The regulations protect employees when the business that employs them changes hands. This means that employees and their rights and responsibilities automatically move from the old employer to the new employer. Employees can then enjoy the same terms and conditions, with continuity of employment, as they did with their previous employer.
The transfer must be notified to the employee representatives in advance of it happening, and the employees must be consulted with respect to any proposals that may affect them. A failure by the employer to consult the concerned employees could result in the employees receiving compensation of up to 13 weeks pay each.
Under TUPE, if an employee's terms and conditions of employment change substantially to their detriment and these changes are due to the transfer, the employee may have the right to resign and claim constructive dismissal.
TUPE regulations are complex and often very hard to determine when and where they apply. If any business thinks that a transaction may involve TUPE, it is essential they seek specialist legal advice in order to fully understand their statutory obligations as there are liabilities and financial penalties associated with non-compliance of TUPE regulations. Glanvilles Employment Team are experienced in advising businesses on the impact of TUPE on all commercial transactions.