Advice line: protect jobs and employment rights

If the employer of your service is changing, the likelihood is you will be informed whether TUPE applies, but what does that mean? Jim Fahie explains.

The purpose of the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE for short) is to protect jobs and your employment rights when there is a compulsory change to your employer.

TUPE regulations were watered down in 2014 by the Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, making it easier for employers in England, Scotland and Wales to change terms and conditions of employment. These updates do not apply in Northern Ireland.

TUPE may apply to transfers in the public, private or voluntary sectors and even when jobs transfer out of the UK, although it is worth noting that intra-governmental transfers are likely to be covered by different regulations.

If you are changing your employer under TUPE you have the right to be consulted prior to the transfer to find out if anything related to your employment is changing, such as the day you receive your pay or where you will work.

You should be aware of which employment policies transfer with you, such as sickness absence, disciplinary or capability, and which do not. However, TUPE does not automatically transfer obligations under occupational pension schemes; instead, they are covered by special rules.

Overall, TUPE transfers are complex. Each transfer is different and care must be taken to ensure your employment rights and jobs are protected within the confines of the TUPE regulations.

Always seek advice and support from your local CSP steward but if there is no steward in your workplace, contact us in the Employment Relations and Union Services (ERUS) directorate at the CSP.

Social Partnership Forum for NHS staff who work in England. 

  • Jim Fahie is assistant director of ERUS

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