The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) is a piece of legislation that is designed to protect employees when the assets of a business are sold or a function is outsourced. In summary, TUPE gives employees automatic rights to transfer to the new employer, enhanced protection against dismissal, certain rights to be informed and consulted with prior to any transfer, and also limits the new employer’s ability to alter employees’ terms and conditions post-transfer. If you are impacted by the uncertainty of a takeover, merger, restructure or outsourcing and would like advice on your rights then we can assist.
Can you be dismissed under TUPE?
Yes. Although TUPE does give you special protection if there is a transfer of the business or part of the business, there is still a potentially fair reason for dismissal provided for in the regulations. A dismissal may be fair if the employer can argue that the dismissal is for an economic, technical or organisational reason which entails a change in the workforce. This could be a relocation of the business, a redundancy situation or a major restructure which affects staff. A fair process would still need to be followed for any dismissal to be fair. If the only reason for dismissal is the TUPE transfer then the dismissal would be automatically unfair. This would give you the right, if you have two years of continuous service, to claim unfair dismissal.
How long do you need to consult for TUPE?
There is no set timescale for informing and consulting but consultation must be meaningful. This means that any representative or individual consulted (if there are no trade union or employee representatives elected) needs to be provided with information about the transfer and any proposed changes and given the opportunity to discuss the impact of the changes.
Do you need 2 years service for TUPE?
No. Most TUPE protection can apply to all employees, however, you need two years of continuous employment to claim unfair dismissal even if the dismissal is TUPE related.
What rights do I have under TUPE?
You have a number of protections under TUPE. These include the right to be informed about the transfer and the identity of any new employer and consulted regarding any changes. Consultation will be with recognised trade unions or elected employee representatives unless employees do not select to elect representatives.
There is an automatic transfer of contractual terms and jobs to the new employer. So, TUPE also protects your contractual terms (with the exception of old age, invalidity and survivor's benefits in occupational pension schemes) meaning that any new employer cannot change your terms just because of a TUPE transfer.
Any changes would need to be because of an economic, technical or organisational reason entailing changes in the workforce or because the terms of the contract itself allowed the particular change.
If you are dismissed because of the TUPE transfer this will be automatically unfair unless the reason was an economic, technical or organisational reason (ETO) entailing changes in the workforce. Even if there is an ETO reason for a dismissal then a fair process must still be followed.
If you are affected because of a substantial change to your working conditions to your material detriment, because of the TUPE transfer, this can give a right to resign and claim unfair dismissal under the TUPE regulations even if there is no breach of your contract by your employer.
TUPE protection substantially increases your protection and if you feel unfairly treated do contact us to discuss these rights.
Here at Julian Taylor HR we're a small but very experienced team of employment law solicitors that are highly experienced dealing with TUPE. What makes us different to other firms is that you're going to be working directly with one of us - we won't pass your case off to a junior, or someone else working behind the scenes.
Chambers 2024 "Julian would always be my first choice for employment advice at any level of complexity."
What the team is known for: Julian Taylor Solicitors is a boutique firm that handles the full spectrum of employment work, including restructuring and TUPE issues. Julian Taylor Solicitors regularly advises on matters relating to employment status and senior exits. The firm represents national clients in the technology, legal and non-profit sectors.
Julian Taylor is a well-regarded employment practitioner recognised for advising his clients on an array of HR-related disputes as well as negotiating senior employee exit terms. He is additionally adept at handling unfair dismissal claims and is noted for his experience of contractual issues and post-termination restrictive covenants.
"Julian is very experienced and confident. He is pragmatic and empowers the client to make informed decisions."
Paula Rome is an employment specialist who is recognised for her expertise in employment matters involving collective consultation. She also advises on senior exits, regularly working with both employers and employees in that area.
“This team punches well above its weight, particularly in the high quality of legal advice, client care, responsiveness and experience. While the team is small, they provide an excellent service, on a par with some of the best London employment teams."
“Julian Taylor is a fantastic lawyer. He is knowledgeable, sensible and clear. He is usually my very first recommendation when asked for an employment solicitor."
“We instruct Julian Taylor on all of our employment issues and find them to be sensitive, commercial and practical in their advice."
Founding partner and seasoned litigator Julian Taylor heads the team.
Speak to TUPE Solicitors based in Oxford.
Do you want to speak to someone to get legal help regarding TUPE? Here at Julian Taylor HR we’ve helped countless employees to understand their TUPE protections. Contact us today if you would like some help.