New TUPE Guidance from ACAS

TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006) is a set of rules that work to protect employees when the business they work for is sold or transferred to a new employer.

New TUPE regulations came into force on 31 January 2014 and ACAS have now published some very helpful guidance to help employers and employees better understand what the changes mean and how they may affect their business. The PDF of the ACAS TUPE guide can be found at:

The key points to note about TUPE are:

  • When a business is sold or transferred the employees assigned to, or employed by that business will automatically transfer with the business and become employed by the new owner of the business.
  • Employees will transfer to their new employer on their existing contracts of employment and with all their years of continuous employment protected. Changing the contracts of transferred employees can be very difficult and legal advice must be taken at the earliest opportunity.
  • The outgoing employer must provide information about the transferring employees to the new employer not less than 28 days before the transfer.
  • Employer must inform/consult with the transferring employees before the transfer and if there is no trade union this may require the election of employee representatives.  From 31 July 2014, micro businesses (those with fewer than 10 employees overall) are not required to elect representatives to inform and consult where there are no existing recognised trade unions or elected employee representatives. However, they must still inform and consult directly with each individual employee regarding the transfer.
  • If an employee is dismissed either before or after a transfer and the sole or principal reason for the dismissal is the transfer, it will be automatically unfair.

TUPE is a complex area of law and anyone thinking about purchasing or taking over a business with employees really needs to take legal advice about the employees they may inherit at the earliest possible stage.

Employees being transferred can find this a very unsettling and worrying time and may also be best taking legal advice about their position if they feel they are not being treated correctly.

Paul Whitfield can be contacted on 0161 2831276 or

Employment Law Solicitors – Head Office based in Manchester with offices located throughout the United Kingdom.