Re-organisations & Restructures – TUPE
On the sale or transfer of a business or part of a business or where a major contract is transferred employees may find the identity of their employer has changed. In cases such as this many of an employees’ basic terms and conditions of employment may still be protected by The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, or TUPE. When a transfer of employment takes place, a proper consultation should take place which gives employees the right to information about the transfer, including when it will happen, the reason for it, the legal, economic or social implications, and whether any new measures are likely to be introduced by the new employer in relation to their employees. All major changes to fundamental terms of employment, such as pay and hours of work by a new employer may constitute a breach of contract, meaning that transferred employees could claim constructive unfair dismissal. Also any dismissals which take place either before or after the transfer may be automatically unfair unless correct procedures have been followed. It is vital therefore to seek advice early in the process when considering a sale or transfer of your business or part of your business to ensure that the TUPE provisions are complied with. Employees should take advice if they consider that the transfer has had a detrimental impact on their employment terms or conditions.