TUPE: what’s it all about?

TUPE refers to the ‘Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006’. TUPE rules apply to organisations of all sizes. They protect employees’ rights when the organisation or service they work for transfers to a new employer.

TUPE has impacts for the employer who is making the transfer (also known as the outgoing employer or the transferor) and the employer who is taking on the transfer (also known as the incoming employer, the ‘new employer’ or the transferee).

When TUPE applies, the employees of the outgoing employer automatically become employees of the incoming employer at the point of transfer. They carry with them their continuous service from the outgoing employer, and should continue to enjoy the same terms and conditions of employment with the incoming employer.

Following a transfer, employers often find they have employees with different terms and conditions working alongside each other and wish to change/harmonise terms and conditions. However, TUPE protects against change/harmonisation for an indefinite period if the sole or principal reason for the change is the transfer. Any such changes will be void.

UNISON West Sussex has successfully supported hundreds of our members who have been transferred under TUPE regulations to new employers. If your school or function within your employer is likely to transfer to an academy or other new employer, TUPE rules must be followed. UNISON is there for you to ensure this happens, but crucially will be there into the future to continue to argue for your interests after transfer.