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The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (referred to below as TUPE) is now the main piece of legislation governing the sale or transfer of an undertaking (eg a business), or part of one, to another business. The regulations are designed to protect the rights of employees in a transfer situation enabling them to enjoy the same terms and conditions, with continuity of employment, as they formerly had with their previous employer.
[Updated for 2014]
By way of broad guidance TUPE has been found to apply to:
A transfer takes place at a single point in time on the date at which responsibility as an Employer for carrying on the business, moves from the transferor (seller of the business) to the transferee (buyer).
TUPE legislation changed on 31st January 2014 – more details here. The changes are as follows:
TUPE is a complex area so it is essential to seek legal advice for individual circumstances. Where a business, or part of one, is being transferred, both parties (ie the transferor and the transferee) should should seek such advice at the earliest possible stage. It may be possible for a legal representative to negotiate an indemnity which will provide a partial, or total, cushion against the financial impact of any claims resulting from the application of TUPE. Contact your Union representative if you have one, or ACAS in the first instance for advice if this affects you.
With the introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations the TUPE regulations were amended to change Employers’ information and consultation obligations under TUPE.
Previously, Employers will required to provide information about the fact, date, reason, legal, social and economic implications of the transfer. Since 2011 Employers also need to provide information on the number of agency workers working temporarily for and under the supervision and direction of the employer and the part of the organisation where they agency workers are working and the type of work the agency workers are carrying out. This includes information about all agency workers working for the employer, not just the part of the business that is ‘transferring’ and is subject to TUPE.
Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.
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