It happens quite frequently, you join one company and a year or two later the owners sell or the contract is lost and you move across to another employer. Or indeed you should!

There is legislation often shortened to and referred to as TUPE, an acronym for Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment, which protects your job in the event that the company or service you work for is taken over by another company.

Typical examples of a transfer of employer are;

  • A cleaning company loses a commercial contract yet there is still the requirement to clean the building(s), therefore the existing employees transfer to the new company that will be running the cleaning in the future.
  • A restaurant is bought over by a bigger company that will still run the building as a restaurant or eatery and so the employees should transfer to the new owner/bigger company.
  • A major aircraft manufacturer uses an engineering company to provide support for servicing and maintaining their aircrafts. They decide to move to a different engineering maintenance company at the end of three year contract. In this example, the engineers working on these aircrafts should transfer from the existing engineering company to the new contractor as the requirement to service and maintain the aircrafts still exists.

So in the event you are subject to a transfer, what should you do? 

  • Look out your existing contract of employment, this transfers with you to your new employer. Importantly your start date with the old employer should be honoured (your length of service is preserved) in the transfer.
  • You should have consultation meetings with your existing employer and the new employer. These are normally set up by HR or your existing bosses and a formal invitation will be sent to you. It might be that your workforce appoints a representative for ‘collective consultation’. These representatives should in turn consult with you.
  • Clarify your transfer date and what will happen on the day of the transfer in terms of rota, management reporting, information transfer and systems use.
  • Your new employer will need to receive some of your personal information from your current employer, however, they should ask your permission to pass on your data in the first instance. Your complete HR file should not transfer as a given unless you have approved this first.
  • Your new employer should crosscheck with you that they have all of your contract of employment information correct.  All of your existing contractual terms should transfer and not be changed.

If you have any questions about a transfer of employer and need more information about TUPE and chat live with one of our HR experts about your rights now.

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