Employees are often concerned when the company they work for changes ownership. The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations, also known as the TUPE law, exists to ensure that employees are treated fairly and looked after. Here’s everything you need to know about the regulations.
What Is The TUPE Law?
The TUPE law was brought in to preserve employees’ terms and conditions of employment if the company they work for changes hands. It provides some certainty and stops new employers from changing terms detrimentally. Essentially, TUPE Regulations move employees and any liabilities associated with them from the old employer to the new employer, by law. This means that dismissal of any staff, for the sole reason of the transfer, will be automatically unfair and the affected employee/s will be able to seek reparations at a tribunal.
It’s important to note that redundancies that occur before a transfer – and go through the proper process – are usually allowed under the regulations. If you are unsure at all, though, you should seek legal advice.
Which Rights Does The TUPE Law Protect?
The TUPE law protects all rights under the contract of employment. Depending on the contract, this might include:
- Maternity or paternity leave and pay
- Sick pay
The important thing to note is that employees shouldn’t be adversely affected by the change in employer.
Who Do The Regulations Apply To?
The TUPE law applies to two types of transfer:
- Business Transfers
The regulations cover private sector business transfers, where a business or part of a business moves from one employer to another. It can include mergers where two companies close and become one new one. It doesn’t cover transfers by share take-over where the same company continues to be the employer.
- Service Provision Changes
In general, this means that any service that is carried out in-house (such as cleaning) is awarded to a contractor. The employees who were carrying out the service are generally protected under TUPE.
What Happens If A Company Doesn’t Follow The TUPE Regulations?
If your company changes hands and you believe you have been detrimentally affected, it’s important to speak to a solicitor. Breaches of the TUPE law can be dealt with by the employment tribunal. In the first instance, the tribunal instructs the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) to try to promote a settlement without the need for a hearing. If this is unsuccessful and you and your employer can’t agree, then the employment tribunal will hear the case. If the employment tribunal finds in your favour, then you may be entitled to unfair dismissal awards or detriment awards.
If you are looking for an employment lawyer to advise you, Beeston Shenton Solicitors are here for you. Our experienced employment law team are adept at dealing with all sorts of employment disputes, including those involving TUPE regulations. If you would like to talk to us about your issue, you can contact us today.