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What is TUPE?


The rights of employees are protected when the business they are employed by is bought and ownership changes. The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE) ensure that the rights of the employees transfer to the new owners.

What type of transfers does it apply to?

TUPE applies where a business (or undertaking) is transferred to another organisation, for example if you worked in a restaurant and new owners bought the restaurant, your employment rights would be protected. It also applies in circumstances when an organisation providing a service to another organisation changes, for example, if you work for a cleaning company who work in a school but the school decides that they are going to use a different cleaning company then (subject to certain requirements) your employment would transfer to the new cleaning company and your employment rights would be protected. 

What are my rights under TUPE?

Where TUPE applies your terms and conditions will remain as they were and you will retain your continuity of service so the time you spent working for the selling company counts and continues with the new owners.

TUPE also provides that if you are dismissed for a reason connected to the transfer then your dismissal may be deemed as being automatically unfair. You also have the right to be consulted and informed about the potential transfer.

Who does TUPE apply to?

TUPE applies to employees. If you are self-employed, a worker, or employed on a temporary contract then TUPE may not apply to you. 

Do I have to transfer my employment?

No, but if the transfer will not result in a material detriment in terms and conditions and you object to your employment transferring then your employment will end and you will not be able to bring a claim.

Are there any time limits for bringing a claim? 

Yes, as with most claims to the Employment Tribunal, a claim needs to be referred to ACAS’ Early Conciliation within 3 months less one day.

When to seek legal advice?

TUPE is a complicated area and if you believe that you have been dismissed because of a transfer, or your employer is trying to change your terms and conditions, seek legal advice. We offer First Free Advice service. No-win no-fee is available in some cases. 

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