The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) protects the employment rights of employees when their employer changes because of a business transfer. Employees transfer automatically to the new owner and retain the same terms and conditions; they are protected from dismissal before or after the transfer.
As a new employer, you will be eager to start developing your practice and putting your ideas and aspirations in place. But where the current structure of the practice needs adapting, you will need to exercise caution and reflect on the implications of TUPE to avoid inadvertently putting yourself at risk.
TUPE can apply to more than the transfer of a business. Providing services under contract, tendering for NHS contracts (in England and Wales) and outsourcing services, for example, may have TUPE implications.
Key learning points
This advice describes the implications of the TUPE regulations when a practice is sold and purchased. It explains:
- The situations when TUPE might apply
- The rights of existing staff to continue working under the same terms and conditions of employment when a practice is sold
- The limited circumstances allowed by TUPE for introducing employee changes or dismissing staff
- The need to consult with staff if you are planning to transfer the practice to a new owner and explain their rights under TUPE
- When employee information can be shared and the checks that the new employer must undertake.