Overview

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE 2006) is the main piece of legislation governing the transfer of an undertaking, or part of one, from one party to another. (A list of relevant legislation is given at the end of these Q&As.)

The regulations are designed to protect the rights of the employees being transferred, enabling them to enjoy the same terms and conditions, with continuity of employment, as before. Without this kind of legal protection for employees, their employment contracts would automatically end when the business changed hands. Whether to keep the ex-employees, and on what terms, would be at the complete discretion of the transferee.

In 2014 certain amendments to TUPE came into force under the Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014. None of the 2014 amendments apply to Northern Ireland.

Both the 1981 and 2006 TUPE regulations were introduced to comply with relevant EC Directives. There have been various amendments to the UK regulations and a great deal of case law.

The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy published guidance on TUPE to cover developments since 2009, including the 2014 amendments. Acas has also published guidance on the changes.

What is the effect of the TUPE Regulations?

What is the ETO defence under TUPE?

Is it legally possible to vary employees’ contractual terms in a TUPE context?

Can an employer avoid TUPE or minimise its impact?

What rules apply to the acquisition of an insolvent business?

Which transfers does TUPE apply to?

Does TUPE apply outside the UK?

How does TUPE affect service provision changes?

Does TUPE apply if after a service provision change the service is now supplied by two (or more) service providers?

Does TUPE apply to transfers between suppliers of professional services?

What situations involving outsourcing, re-tendering and insourcing are not a service provision change under TUPE?

What information should be given by the transferor to the transferee concerning the transferor’s rights, powers, duties and liabilities towards transferring employees?

Is there a service provision change if the organised grouping consists of a single employee?

What information should be given by the transferor and the transferee to the employees affected?

What are the obligations that arise under the Immigration Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 following a TUPE transfer?

When should consultation take place and with who?

Who would be considered an 'appropriate representative' for the purposes of informing and consulting staff affected by transfer of an undertaking?

What happens if an employer fails to comply with its duty to inform and consult employees?

Which employees does TUPE protect and what is an ‘organised grouping’ of employees?

Which rights and liabilities transfer to the ‘new’ employer?

Does the law permit the new owner of an undertaking to harmonise employees’ terms and conditions of employment after they have transferred?

Can the new owner of an undertaking harmonise the terms and conditions of employment if the changes are to the benefit of the employees who have transferred?

What approaches can the new owner take to harmonise the terms and conditions of transferred employees?

Is it possible to impose relocation on employees following the transfer of an undertaking?

Is it possible to dismiss employees following the transfer of an undertaking if there is an ETO reason?

Can a former employer dismiss employees in anticipation of a TUPE transfer and rely on the new employer’s ETO reasons?

Do occupational pensions transfer under TUPE?

Future developments

Future developments

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