TUPE—an overview for pensions lawyers

The following Pensions practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • TUPE—an overview for pensions lawyers
  • When TUPE applies
  • What TUPE transfers
  • Pension issues on a TUPE transfer
  • The pensions exception and Beckmann
  • What minimum pension benefits must the transferor provide following the transfer?
  • Auto-enrolment impact
  • Information and consultation
  • Obligation to inform
  • Obligation to consult
  • More...

TUPE—an overview for pensions lawyers

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/246 (TUPE) have been in force since 6 April 2006.

TUPE implements the Acquired Rights Directive. Like other directives, the Acquired Rights Directive does not constitute retained EU law and thus does not apply in the UK post-IP completion day (11pm on 31 December 2020), but the UK laws implementing it (ie TUPE) do constitute retained EU law and apply in the UK post-IP completion day.

TUPE is wide-ranging. For example:

  1. TUPE may apply whenever a client buys something that has employees associated with it: this might look like an asset, or an activity, and not a business, but TUPE may well protect those employees' rights. For example, a shopping centre is likely to have cleaners, security guards or caretakers, whose employment may be transferred to a client when it buys the building. Equally, if a client is taking over the provision of a service, the employees currently providing that service may become the client's employees by virtue of TUPE

  2. TUPE may apply regardless of who the employees' current employer is (ie whether or not their employer is the seller in the transaction)

  3. if the rights of those employees are threatened (for example, by dismissal or reduction in pay or other rights), it is reasonable to expect that an employment tribunal

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