Call us free: 0800 6441544
Request a call back now


The purpose of TUPE Law (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) law) is to protect the employment rights of employees in the event the company they work for goes through a change in ownership.

The effect of the law is such that it moves all employees from their previous employer to their new employer on the same terms and conditions of work, providing employees with job security albeit that they no longer work for the specific employer with whom they contracted with. Additionally, the law ensures that all liabilities are equally transferred to the new employer. So if an employee made a claim against the previous employer before the transfer, then after transfer the liability of the claim would be on the new employer.

When do the TUPE regulations apply?

The TUPE regulations apply in the following two situations:

  1. Business Transfer – This is where a business, undertaking or part of a business or undertaking is transferred (sold) from one employer to another. To be protected by TUPE during a business transfer the identity of your employer must change.
  1. Service Provision Change – This is when a business  either:
  • outsources or contracts out a service they previously undertook,
  • brings a previously outsourced service’ in house’, or
  • changes the contractor that was previously assigned to provide the service

In these situations all employees dedicated to the service contact will transfer over.

What if you do not want to work for the new employer?

If upon transfer, you do not wish to work for your new employer then you can refuse to work and your employment contract will effectively end. You will be treated as having been resigned and will not have a claim for unfair dismissal or redundancy pay.

Changes in the terms and conditions of employment

The TUPE regulations are designed to ensure that your pre-existing terms and conditions of employment remain intact upon transfer to a new employer.  This means that your former employer cannot change your employment contract to bring it in line with the terms of the new employer, in anticipation of the transfer. But it also means that after transfer, your new employer cannot make changes to your employment contract unless the change proposed is because of,

  • the transfer itself, or
  • a reason connected with the transfer that is not an economic, technical or organisational change

If the terms and conditions of your employment contract are changed for any reason other than the above stipulated, then any change will be void unless it is a positive change which you agree to. If your employer refuses to comply with your pre-existing terms and conditions of employment then this would amount to a Breach of Contract.


If an employee is dismissed by reason of the transfer then the dismissal is automatically unfair and the employee may be able to bring a claim in the employment tribunal for Unfair Dismissal.

If an employee is dismissed due to a reason connected with the transfer then this too may amount to unfair dismissal unless the dismissal was for an ‘economic, technical or organisational reason requiring a change in the workforce’.

If you would like to know more about your employment rights or feel that your rights have been restricted in any way as a result of a transfer or proposed transfer then please Contact us on 0800 644 1544 for a free consultation.

Contact us