TUPE deals with the situation where a business and its employees are transferred from one employer to another. Updated Regulations were introduced in 2006 to safeguard employees’ rights when the business that they work for is transferred. These regulations are known as the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 and commonly known as the current TUPE Regulations.
Employees benefit from these regulations because the effect is that certain rights and liabilities will transfer automatically from the old employer to the new employer.
We also offer a low fixed-fee service for claims assessment. For a fee which amounts to less than an hours work for most High Street solicitors we’ll review your case and advise you on whether you have a claim. If we subsequently win the case we’ll deduct the Pre-Claim Review fee from our success fee, so you won’t be out of pocket.
We can even help you if you’ve already started your claim in the Employment Tribunal. For a fixed fee we’ll review your claim and give you advice on drafting, tactics and procedure. And on top of that we’ll give you three months of support as your claim goes on, to maximise your chance of succeeding.
You won’t find any other employment solicitor who offers something of equivalent value for less (and if you think you have found an equivalent alternative product, talk to us as we’d love to know and we’re keen to remain the most competitive claimant employment law practice in the market).
Attempts by either the old employer or the new employer to change terms and conditions of employment are likely to be void and any dismissals in connection with the transfer may also be automatically unfair.
Employees are entitled to receive specific information and consultation and where there is a failure to comply with these obligations there are specific claims that can be brought entitling you to compensation.
The law covers business transfers which comprise the transfer of an economic entity which retains its identify after transfer. If only part of a business is transferred this can also be covered. In addition, service provision changes are caught by the definition of a TUPE transfer. This deals with various scenarios between clients and their contractors who provide services for them. Typically office cleaning, refuse collection, maintenance and catering services are commonly contracted out, outsourced, reassigned or brought back in on a regular basis.
Firstly, your terms and conditions and all statutory rights transfer to the new employer. Your continuity of service is not broken. The only exception concerns pension rights which are not fully protected under the TUPE Regulations, requiring specialist advice to be taken.
Secondly, if your new employer tries to dismiss you then you may well have a claim for automatic unfair dismissal if you are able to show that the sole or main reason for the dismissal was connected to the TUPE transfer. However, the employer will have a defence if it can show that the dismissal is justified for what is known as an economic, technological or organisational reason (“ETO”) requiring a change in the workforce.
Finally, once transferred your employer cannot simply change your terms and conditions because of the transfer unless it can show that there is an economic, technological or organisational reason again entailing a change in the workforce.
How To Make A TUPE Claim?
If you believe that your rights have been affected because of a TUPE transfer then you should contact us as early as possible to obtain advice regarding your rights about the proposed TUPE transfer. If the transfer has already taken place and you believe that your rights have been affected then claims can be brought for a failure to inform and consult with you, if your terms have been varied, or if you have been dismissed. The time limit for bringing claims in the Employment Tribunal are strict and this usually means that you must bring any claim within 3 months (this means that 3 months is too late – it is 3 months less 1 day: call us if you’re unsure, rather than miss out) of the date of the act about which you are complaining.