10 top TUPE tips for employers – Transferees

TUPE kicks in when there is a transfer of a business from one organisation to another or there is a service provision change from one provider to another.

6th June 2024

Following on from our previous article for the Transferor, here are our top 10 tips for the Transferee – the buyer or business taking on service.

1. Request employee liability information as soon as possible

As the transferee you will inherit all liabilities including those arising from terms and conditions of employment, statutory rights and tribunal claims.

It is important to ensure you are provided with all employee liability information in good time before the transfer so you can identify any risks. If there are any risks identified you will then be in a position to seek further information from the transferor.

2. Assess who transfers

TUPE is a complex area in law, if you are taking on a service you will need to assess who will transfer from the transferor. Some employees at first look may appear to fall under the automatic transfer principle, however, there may be reasons why an employee does not transfer, for example, if they are assigned to different services elsewhere within the transferor’s business or there is fragmentation of the service or the service is changing.

3. Have a clear plan

Map out your timeline pre and post transfer. Prepare for a change in your current workforce and where the transferring employees will fit in. Consider whether you will need to make changes to your structure and how your current workforce and key stakeholders may be impacted.

4. Inform your current workforce of the transfer

Being open, transparent and honest with your workforce is key to employee engagement. Whilst your current workforce may not be involved in the transfer, they will want to understand the rationale behind the changes and how they will be impacted by any change. Affected employees may feel uncertain of the changes and so it is important not to dodge any issues or minimise what is happening.

If your employees are affected employees, for example the intake of the transferred employees then means you need to make reductions in headcount, don’t forget you need to inform and consult with them on the transfer too, so you will need to consider if you need to elect employee representatives or consult with a recognised union.

5. Think about communication  

Those communicating with all affected employees (the current workforce and transferring employees) will need to have a clear understanding of the transfer and the implications. Make sure you have the appropriate people providing the updates and communicating with your workforce. 

6. Identify any changes you envisage

Once you have been provided with the employee liability information, you will need to identify whether there will be any changes to their terms and conditions of employment or working arrangements for the transferring employees.

7. Work with the transferor

It is important to inform the transferor of any changes you envisage and work with them to consult with the employees transferring and then your affected employees. Keep an open dialogue with not only your current workforce, but also the transferor and transferring employees.

8. First impressions count

Once the transfer takes place, it is important that you have measures in place to welcome the transferring employees. Those transferring to your business will be feeling nervous or uncertain about the change. You will need to make a good first impression to ensure a positive working relationship. Let them know about key benefits and why your organisation is a great place to work.

9. Inductions

Whilst the transferring employees may already be confident in their job, they are technically new employees. Be prepared to carry out a thorough induction process to introduce the employees to your business, provide training for IT systems, update them on key policies and procedures, let them know who to talk to if there are any issues.

10. Keep live updates

Once the transfer has taken place and you have inducted them into the workforce, the work is unlikely to stop there. There are likely to be changes or teething issues so it is important to keep a good line of communication going, updating all your workforce each step of the way and inform them of what is to come.

For more information on TUPE or if you require any assistance, you can contact our Employment Client Services team on employmentinfo@daslaw.co.uk or call on 0344 2640102.

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