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The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (known as “the TUPE regulations”) are designed to protect the rights of employees when the business they work for is transferred from one owner to another. The general position is that employees of the business that is being taken over have the legal right to transfer to the new employer, retaining their existing terms and conditions of employment, including wages. There are however exceptions to this rule, so it is important that you contact us for advice, regardless whether you are an employer or employee.
The effect of the TUPE regulations is to protect the original terms and conditions under which an employee was employed from any changes that their new employer might want to make. The TUPE regulations also preserve the employment rights an employee might have based on their continuity of service, and any other rights they might have. One of the requirements of the TUPE regulations is that in a takeover situation, all employees that are affected directly or indirectly by the transfer of the business must be informed and consulted by both their former employer and their new employer, and there are potential penalties for both employers if they fail to do this.
In certain situations, the new employer can dismiss an employee as a result of a TUPE transfer, if for instance a receptionist or a salesperson transfers across, and the new employer already has one (and doesn’t need two). In such cases the employer would be expected to carry out a full, objective redundancy selection to decide which receptionist to make redundant.
The TUPE regulations only provide protection to you as an employee when what is known as a “relevant transfer” occurs. To find out more about the situations in which TUPE regulations will apply, and also the times when they don’t apply, please read our TUPE regulations guide.
As TUPE regulations are designed to protect employees, if your current and future employers follow the regulations there should be very little effect on you or your employment. Before your employment is transferred from your current employer, you should be properly informed about the transfer. You should be told why and when it is taking place, and what measures either employer intends taking either before or after the transfer which affect you.
The first step for you as an employee, if you find yourself in either of these situations, would be to raise a complaint using your employer’s complaints procedure. If you are still not satisfied after going through your employer’s complaints procedure, then ultimately you can take your claim for unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal. You are strongly advised to contact us for advice before taking either of these steps.
Please note that as of 29th July 2013, anyone wishing to use an Employment Tribunal or an Employment Appeal Tribunal to make a claim for unfair dismissal will be liable to pay a fee. If your claim goes to a final hearing, the combined fees for issuing your claim and attending a hearing could be as much as £1200.
The Employment Solicitors at Canter Levin & Berg can offer you advice on the fees associated with any claim for unfair dismissal, including how to apply for fee remission if you cannot afford the full fees for a tribunal hearing.
Call 0151 239 1000 to speak to one of our Employment Solicitors for advice about TUPE if you’re employed by a business that is being transferred. Our solicitors offer a free initial telephone consultation of up to 10 minutes. For more detailed advice on a TUPE matter, we also offer face-to-face meetings at our Liverpool offices with prices starting from £100 inclusive of VAT for a 30 minute consultation with one of our Employment Solicitors.
We also offer comprehensive advice for employers concerning TUPE regulations and other employment law issues. If you are an employer and would like advice on the TUPE regulations and how they affect your staff, please visit CLB Employment Solutions website or call 0800 0832 832.