What a TUPE transfer is - TUPE: employee rights

What a TUPE transfer is

TUPE regulations protect your rights as an employee when you transfer to a new employer. 

TUPE stands for Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment).

A 'TUPE transfer' happens when:

  • an organisation, or part of it, is transferred from one employer to another
  • a service is transferred to a new provider, for example when another company takes over the contract for office cleaning

You may be affected by a TUPE transfer if:

  • you're transferring from your current employer to a new employer
  • other employees are transferring to a new employer but you stay employed with your current employer and do not transfer
  • other employees have been transferred to the organisation you work for

Your rights under TUPE

Your rights are protected under TUPE if both of these things apply:

  • you're legally classed as an employee 
  • the part of the organisation that's transferring is in the UK

However, TUPE regulations might also protect workers. You should get legal advice as this is a developing area.

The size of the organisation you work for does not matter. For example, your rights are still protected if you work for a large organisation with many employees, or a small one like a shop or a pub. 

What happens during a TUPE transfer

Every TUPE transfer may be different, but the usual process involves the following:

  • the old and new employers identify who is affected by the transfer
  • the old and new employers inform, and in some cases consult, employees who are affected by the transfer
  • the old employer provides the new employer with information about the employees who are transferring, for example their age and identity
  • the employees who are transferring transfer to the new employer along with their employment contracts and length of service
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