What to consult about - TUPE: informing and consulting

What to consult about

You must inform trade union or authorised employee representatives about a TUPE transfer.

Even if there are trade union representatives, you should keep all affected employees informed about the transfer. Not all employees will be members of a trade union, so they may not receive updates from the union representatives.

You may want to agree with representatives about what information you can share with employees, and what needs to remain confidential. Sharing details about intellectual property, for example copyrights or trademarks, could be damaging to the organisation.

What you must inform about

Both old and new employers must inform the representatives of affected employees in writing about the details of the transfer, including why it's happening. This could be in a letter or email.

The new employer must inform the old employer of changes that are likely to affect employees transferring in. By law, these changes are called 'measures'. The old employer must pass this information on to the appropriate representatives of the affected employees.

The information the old and new employer must give representatives in writing must include:

  • confirmation that the transfer is happening, when it is expected to happen and why
  • how you plan to carry out the transfer
  • whether there'll be any restructuring
  • the number of agency workers employed, the departments they are working in and the type of work they are doing, if agency workers are used
  • any measures the new employer is expecting which may affect staff transferring in – for example, changes to working hours, job descriptions, salary payment dates or risk of redundancies
  • any legal, economic and social implications

Legal, economic and social implications might include:

  • legal – effect on contracts, statutory rights and collective agreements
  • economic – the new employer's financial worth, pay and benefits, pensions
  • social – changes to start and finish times, changes to team and management structures

What you must consult about

You must consult with trade union or authorised employee representatives about any measures you're expecting as part of the transfer.

In a transfer, measures can include:

  • redundancies
  • change in location of work
  • changes to pay dates
  • new working patterns, for example hours of work
  • different pension arrangements
  • changes to trade union recognition or collective bargaining

The old employer must inform their affected staff about any measures the new employer might make. But they cannot consult on these changes because they have no control over them.

If no measures are expected, no consultation is needed. However, the definition of measures is wide. Employers should consult unless they are sure employees will not experience any change as a result of the transfer.

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