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Employment Law for you

TUPE regulations are in place to protect employees, but unfortunately, not all employers adhere to the rules. If you are worried that a previous or new employer has not followed TUPE procedure correctly or you have been subject to unfair dismissal or discrimination, then SCE can help.

What is TUPE?

TUPE relates to the Transfer or Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. Although the regulations may appear complex, the purpose is very simple – to protect employees if the business they work for changes hands. TUPE regulations can apply in two situations:

Business transfers – a business or part of a business is taken over by a new owner or merges with another business.

Service provision transfers – services are taken over from a contractor by the client or another contractor, or services are outsourced by the client to a contractor. For example, when the cleaning contract for an office block changes hands.

What happens to the terms and conditions of employment contracts, rates of pay and pensions?

Under TUPE regulations, your terms and conditions of employment and rates of pay will remain the same when you transfer. However, if the new employer offers better terms and conditions, then you can request to be employed under their terms instead.

Your existing pensions will also be protected. Your new employer may continue to pay into your existing scheme or offer a more favourable pension option.

Can I be dismissed or made redundant because of the transfer?

You cannot be dismissed as a direct result of the transfer as you are protected by the TUPE regulations and any dismissal connected to the transfer would be classed as unfair.

You can be made redundant if the new owner does not need to retain all employees. However, proper redundancy processes must be followed, and there must be an economic, technical or organisational reason for the change to the workforce.

Do employees have to transfer to the new employer?

You do not have to transfer to the new company, but your options will depend on the situation.

  • If only part of the business is being sold, you could request a change of role or redeployment within your existing company.
  • If redundancies are being made, you may be able to take voluntary redundancy.
  • You can resign and seek new employment.

Unfair dismissal and discrimination

The new employer cannot discriminate against you or refuse to transfer your contracts if TUPE regulations are applicable. If you are dismissed as a direct result of the transfer, it will be classed as unfair dismissal.

If you are pregnant, are on maternity leave, have had or are currently taking long-term medical leave, or have outstanding grievances, you are still protected by TUPE regulation. If you are dismissed for any of these reasons during the transfer, you will have a case for unfair dismissal.

You may also have a case for unfair dismissal if you are forced to resign as a result of the transfer. For example, you resign because the transfer means a change of location that adds unreasonable travel time to your commute and no support proposals were offered during the consultation.

How we help

If your employment contract has been compromised, you have been dismissed, or you are in a position where you feel forced to resign, we can help. 

We are experts in all aspects of employment law, including breaches of TUPE regulations, unfair dismissal and discrimination. Contact us on 0113 350 4030 or complete the contact form for a free 30-minute telephone consultation to find out how we can support you.

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