The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of employment) regulations, known as TUPE, govern the transfer of an undertaking (that’s a business or part of one) to a new employer. The TUPE regulations also cover changes in service provision thereby protecting workers who are assigned to a contract that is being reassigned or is being brought back in-house.
The TUPE regulations strengthen the rights of staff involved in transfers, providing them with continuity of employment and the same terms and conditions as they had prior to the transfer.
What are the TUPE regulations? First introduced in 1981, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of employment) regulations were introduced to protect workers involved in transfers. They were introduced to comply with the European Community Directives covering the transfer of employees. The TUPE regulations have subsequently been amended and are now known as TUPE 2006
. When do the TUPE regulations come into effect?
TUPE 2006 came into force on 6 April 2006.
What are the main changes in the 2006 TUPE regulations?
TUPE 2006 entirely replaces TUPE 1981.The main changes are:
- A widening of the scope of the Regulations to cover cases where services are outsourced, insourced or assigned by a client to a new contractor.
- A new duty on the old transferor employer to supply information about the transferring employees to the new transferee employer (by providing employee liability information.
- Special provisions making it easier for insolvent businesses to be transferred to new employers.
- Provisions which clarify the ability of employers and employees to agree to vary contracts of employment in circumstances where a relevant transfer occurs.
- Provisions which clarify the circumstances under which it is unfair for employers to dismiss employees for reasons connected with a relevant transfer.
- The rights and obligations in the 1981 Regulations remain in place, though the 2006 regulations contain revised wording at some points to make their meaning clearer, as well as reflecting developments in case law since 1981.
Source: Department of Trade and Industry
History of TUPE
First introduced in 1981, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of employment) regulations were introduced to protect workers involved in transfers. They were introduced to comply with the following European Community Directives.
European Community Acquired Rights Directive 77/187/EEC. This was amended by the European Community Acquired Rights Directive 98/50 EC and these two directives were consolidated in the European Community Acquired Rights Directive 2001/23/EC.
TUPE case law
Up-to-date TUPE case law can be found on our dedicated TUPE page. Matthews & Others v Kent & Medway Towns & Fire Authority and Others
– the House of Lords' landmark judgment concerning the rights of retained part-time firefighters to the same pension and sick-pay benefits as full-timers.
The following three cases look at when a job is covered by TUPE: Legal advice for employers
Up-to-date TUPE news can be found on our dedicated TUPE page.