Chances are that the acronym “TUPE” will not mean anything to most people in British society. Yet, as any good employment law solicitor would tell you, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations are an essential piece of protection for employees and help ensure that the terms and conditions of their working contract remain relevant when ownership of the business they work for changes hands.
However, it is not only employees who benefit from TUPE, the regulations also benefit employers by helping to encourage a level-playing field for businesses and creating conditions for the smooth transition of a business’s ownership.
In the event an employee loses his job as a result of a transfer, under the terms of TUPE, he or she may make an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, but only if he or she can prove one year of continuous service. Furthermore, the claim must be lodged within three months of the date of dismissal.
TUPE encourages employee rights in these situations, and, as such, the dismissal will always be considered unfair unless the employer can show that it was made purely because of economic, technical, or organisational (ETO) concerns.
In the event that the new employer tries to make significant alterations to the terms and conditions of an employee’s contract, TUPE gives grounds for the employee to instruct an employment law solicitor to launch a claim for constructive dismissal. Once this has been done, it is up to an employment tribunal to decide whether the employer has been in breach of TUPE.
Employees must be notified in advance of planned changes of ownership and, of course, of how it may impact their terms of employment. Failure to provide this advance notification may result in compensation being paid.
Where pension schemes are in place under one ownership structure, they must be left in place post-transfer of ownership. Although details of the pension scheme may change slightly, these changes must not be to the material disadvantage of employees.
George Ide LLP has the expertise and experience necessary to act for all types of client involved in a TUPE dispute, whether employer or employee.
Our employment law solicitors based in Chichester and Bognor are among the South’s leading specialists and offer a client-focused service at reasonable and transparent cost.
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