The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, or TUPE, is a law designed to protect the rights of employees when a business transfers from one owner to another.
This means that if your organisation or part of your organisation changes from one owner to another, your employment terms and conditions (save in respect of occupational pension schemes) are protected and you automatically become an employee of the new employer.
If you work in the public sector and you are transferred to the private sector, you are covered by TUPE.
TUPE also covers service provision changes where a person ceases to carry out activities on their own behalf and instead the activities are carried out by another person on their behalf. This is known as outsourcing. It also covers situations where outsourcing has already occurred but there is a change in the contractor carrying out those services.
Employers are required to provide union representatives of employees affected by transfers of ownership with specific information about a proposed TUPE transfer sufficiently in advance to allow consultation to take place.
If the employer of any affected employee envisages taking measures in respect of that affected employee, they must consult with the representatives of that employee with a view to reaching agreement with the affected employee in respect of the intended measures.
If you are being outsourced or TUPE transferred, or think you might be, get in touch with your UNISON rep or the branch office immediately.