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TUPE Transfers – What employers need to know


The Employment Rights (Amendment, Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2023 comes into effect on 1 July 2024. The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) provide legal protections for UK employees affected when a business changes hands or it decides to retender services, outsource, bring services inhouse. TUPE regulations can feel complicated and time consuming, but it is important to get them right and remain legally compliant. Failure to comply with the strict TUPE information and consultation requirements can expose an employer to claims of up to 13 weeks’ pay per employee.

 

Where TUPE applies, an employee’s contractual terms and conditions automatically transfer to the new employer. Apart from some limited circumstances, employees are protected from dismissal or changes to their employment terms that are implemented due to the transfer.

Before the TUPE transfer takes place, legislation requires both the outgoing and new employer to:

  • Provide certain minimum information to representatives of its affected employees regarding, for example, when and why the transfer is taking place and the legal, social, and economic implications for employees; and

  • Any “measures” (changes) that are proposed, with a requirement that the employer must engage in consultation with employee representatives.

 

At present, for organisation of more than nine employees, the employer must arrange an election of employee representatives, unless there is an existing trade union or consultation body in place whose mandate already covers TUPE issues. 

 

Summary of changes

However, TUPE is changing to relax the requirements for smaller businesses and transfers impacting a smaller number of employees.

For TUPE transfers taking place from 1 July 2024:

  • If your business has fewer than fifty employees, you can consult directly with impacted employees, so long as there are no existing employee representatives are in place.

  • For organisations of any size, if a transfer involves fewer than ten employees, you may opt to consult with employees directly assuming there are no pre-existing employee representatives.

 

The changes to legislation can benefit organisations by:

  • Streamlining and reducing the administration of consultation.

  • Direct consultation can be a much more effective way of communicating so that everyone hears the same message at the same time, leading to a smoother TUPE transfer process.

 

What’s next for a business facing a TUPE transfer?

If your organisation is anticipating a potential TUPE transfer in the months ahead, these changes may be relevant to your planning and process.

 

If you would benefit from HR support from our TUPE Experts at Robinson Grace HR, please get in touch via clientservices@robinsongracehr.com

 

Check out our other blogs in the series:

 

If you have any questions about employment law, get in touch via clientservices@robinsongracehr.com or ring us on 01793 311937.

 

The content of our blogs is intended for general information and not to replace legal or other professional advice.

 

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