Outsourcing and TUPE: law firm outsourcing
Outsourcing and TUPE: law firm outsourcing

The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Outsourcing and TUPE: law firm outsourcing
  • When does TUPE apply?
  • Impact of TUPE
  • Information and consultation
  • Variation of contracts and dismissal

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) protect employees' terms and conditions when a business or undertaking, or part of one, is transferred to a new employer.

The purpose of this practice note is to help you identify circumstances where your proposed outsourcing activities could be caught by TUPE. It also provide a very high-level summary of:

  1. the impact of TUPE

  2. information and consultation requirements

  3. variation of contracts and dismissal

It is not intended to guide you through the TUPE process or to explain the law in detail.

If you believe that TUPE may apply to proposed outsourcing activities (including offshoring) you should take specialist employment law advice.

When does TUPE apply?

TUPE applies where there is a relevant transfer. There are two categories of relevant transfer:

  1. a business transfer, or

  2. a service provision change

An outsourcing arrangement can involve both a business transfer and/or a service provision change.

Business transfer

A business transfer involves:

  1. the transfer of a business or undertaking (or part of a business or undertaking)

  2. from one entity to another

  3. so that the identity of the employer changes

Service provision change

A service provision change occurs where:

  1. an employer organisation (as customer) contracts out services that they have previously performed in-house to a service provider (a first generation outsourcing), or

  2. there is a transfer of