TUPE stands for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations
The TUPE rules apply to organisations of all sizes and protect employees’ rights when the organisation or service they work for transfers to a new employer.
TUPE has impacts for the employer who is making the transfer (also known as the outgoing employer or the transferor) and the employer who is taking on the transfer (also known as the incoming employer, the ‘new employer’ or the transferee).
When does TUPE apply?
There are two situations when the TUPE regulations may apply; business transfers and service provision transfers.
In business transfers
The TUPE regulations apply if a business or part of a business moves to a new owner or merges with another business to make a brand new employer.
In service provision transfers
The TUPE regulations apply in the following situations:
- a contractor takes over activities from a client (known as outsourcing).
- a new contractor takes over activities from another contractor (known as re-tendering).
- a client takes over activities from a contractor (known as in sourcing).
ACAS had produced a short introductory video to explain TUPE which you can find here
Terms and conditions under TUPE
When TUPE applies, the employees of the outgoing employer automatically become employees of the incoming employer at the point of transfer. They carry with them their continuous service from the outgoing employer, and should continue to enjoy the same terms and conditions of employment with the incoming employer.
Following a transfer, employers often find they have employees with different terms and conditions working alongside each other and wish to change/harmonise terms and conditions. However, TUPE protects against change/harmonisation for an indefinite period if the sole or principal reason for the change is the transfer. Any such changes will be void.
More detailed information can be found here