TUPE—business transfers

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

  • TUPE—business transfers
  • Business transfers defined
  • An economic entity
  • Economic activities
  • Whether a single employee can be an undertaking
  • Economic entity must be 'stable'
  • Economic entity must not be for an illegal purpose
  • A transfer of an economic entity
  • No oral or written agreement required
  • No requirement to notify employees of the transfer or identity of transferee
  • More...

TUPE—business transfers

Relevant transfers under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/246 (TUPE 2006) are:

  1. business transfers—involving the transfer of an undertaking or business, or part of an undertaking or business situated immediately before the transfer in the United Kingdom to another person where there is a transfer of an economic entity that retains its identity following the transfer

  2. service provision changes—involving a change in the provider of a service (outsourcing, insourcing or a change in contractor) where certain conditions are satisfied

This Practice Note considers business transfers. Service provision change transfers are considered separately, in Practice Note: TUPE—service provision changes. For further information on TUPE and other employment issues in an outsourcing context, see Practice Note: Outsourcing—employment issues.

However, it is important to note that a transfer may be both a business transfer and a service provision change transfer: a putative transfer should be analysed under both tests.

This Practice Note contains references to case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Broadly, EU judgments handed down on or before the end of the Brexit transition period/IP completion day (11 pm on 31 December 2020) continue to be binding on UK courts and tribunals (even if the EU courts later depart from them) until the UK courts exercise their powers to diverge. For the most part, EU case law

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