A transfer of undertakings occurs in one of two situations - either a business transfer or a service provision change. When a business moves to a new owner in one of these 'relevant transfers', the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) protects the entitlement of UK employees to the same terms and conditions, with continuity of employment, as they had before the transfer.

This factsheet provides introductory guidance on the law governing the transfer of an undertaking. It lists the types of circumstances in which TUPE has been found to apply (such as mergers) as well as those circumstances in which it does not apply (such as transfers by share take-over), and also provides a checklist to help determine whether or not it is applicable in a particular situation. Finally, the factsheet offers introductory guidance on managing a TUPE situation, particularly when it comes to dismissals, consultation and notification, pensions, and required written information.

CIPD viewpoint

What is a transfer of an undertaking?

The relevant law

The situations where TUPE applies

Managing a TUPE situation

Useful contacts and further reading

This factsheet was last updated by Lisa Ayling, solicitor and employment law specialist, and by Rachel Suff.

Rachel Suff

Rachel Suff: Employee Relations Adviser

Rachel joined the CIPD as a policy adviser in 2014 to increase the CIPD’s public policy profile and engage with politicians, civil servants, policy-makers and commentators to champion better work and working lives. An important part of her role is to ensure that the views of the profession inform CIPD policy thinking in ER areas such as health and well-being, employee engagement and employment relations.

As well as developing policy on UK employment issues, she helps guide the CIPD’s thinking in relation to European developments affecting the world of work. Rachel is a qualified HR practitioner and researcher; her prior roles include working as a researcher/editor for XpertHR and as a senior policy adviser at Acas.

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