Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations, abbreviated as TUPE, apply when a business, or a proportion of a business, changes ownership. TUPE regulations exist to ensure the transfer of employees’ terms and conditions from the old employer to the new, and to preserve the continuity of employment. TUPE only applies if the business, or part of the business to transfer will retain its identity. In situations where one contractor’s services are exchanged for another’s TUPE may also apply.
The law surrounding where TUPE is relevant is complicated, however when businesses are sold and operations are outsourced is when it is likely to apply. If TUPE regulations through your employer has affected you, or if you have been dismissed as a result of a transfer of ownership, this is automatically unfair. When TUPE regulations engage your rights and terms and conditions of employment should automatically apply under the new ownership, and continuous employment is calculated from the start of employment with the old employer.
If you have been dismissed as a result of this situation and it is for an ‘economic, technical or organisational reason entailing changes in the workforce’ – an ETO reason – this should then be considered a redundancy, and redundancy procedures should be followed. If you believe that you have been unfairly treated in a case where TUPE regulations apply, you can speak to our team of employment Solicitors to discuss the specifics of your situation and your legal rights.