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.
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.
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.
TUPE applies to employees. If you are self-employed, a worker, or employed on a temporary contract then TUPE may not apply to you.
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.
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.
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.
Although many people think that they cannot afford a solicitor to help with their claim now that Legal Aid is no longer available, we have a range of options which could make pursuing your claim more affordable than you think. For example, we can offer an overall fixed fee, help only with certain stages of the process with which you require assistance (again for a fixed fee), or we may be able to offer you a damages-based agreement, which is a type of no-win, no-fee. However, the starting point will always be to check any existing insurance policies you have, as they may include cover for our fees.