Introduction to this document

Letter to staff before a TUPE transfer

If you’re the transferor employer, you should write to all of the affected employees before the TUPE transfer takes place advising them of the transfer of their employment from you to the transferee employer and letting them know how this will affect their employment position.

TUPE transfer

Under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE), where a relevant transfer of an undertaking takes place, those employees who are employed by the transferor employer, e.g. the seller of the business, immediately before the transfer automatically become the employees of the transferee employer, e.g. the buyer of the business, from the time of the relevant transfer, on the same terms and conditions of employment that they previously enjoyed with the transferor employer. The exception is that special rules apply to the transfer of occupational pension scheme rights. If you’re the transferee, you can’t pick and choose which employees to take on and neither can you dismiss employees just because the transfer has occurred. If you do and the employee has sufficient continuity of employment, it will be an automatically unfair dismissal. An employee can make a claim for unfair dismissal in these circumstances if they have been employed for two years or more. Our Letter to Staff Before a TUPE Transfer enables the transferor employer to write to all the affected employees advising them that the transfer will take place under the provisions of TUPE and the date on which that will happen. It makes clear that the employees will then be employed by the transferee employer with their terms and conditions of employment, and their continuity of employment, preserved. An employee’s period of continuous employment is not broken by a TUPE transfer. Generally, the transferee employer will also inherit all of the transferor’s rights, powers, duties and outstanding liabilities arising from the employees’ contracts of employment, except for criminal liabilities and some benefits under occupational pension schemes. For example, if the employee is owed wages as at the transfer date, that liability will transfer under TUPE from the transferor to the transferee. So, if you’re buying or selling a business, taking over an existing business lease or franchise or taking over a service contract, make sure you obtain appropriate legal advice on TUPE. It could cost you if you don’t!