TUPE—issues arising in property transactions
Produced in partnership with Jenny Andrews of Herbert Smith Freehills

The following Employment practice note produced in partnership with Jenny Andrews of Herbert Smith Freehills provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • TUPE—issues arising in property transactions
  • Overview
  • When TUPE applies
  • The effect of TUPE
  • Employee transfer
  • What TUPE transfers
  • Information and consultation
  • Obligation to inform
  • Obligation to consult
  • Scope of obligation to inform and consult
  • More...

TUPE—issues arising in property transactions

This Practice Note examines the circumstances in which the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/246 (TUPE 2006) may apply in the context of property transactions and considers the impact on both employers (for example, landlords, tenants, managing agents and other third party contractors), as well as on employees.


Examples of different property-related situations and transactions that may trigger the application of TUPE 2006 include:

  1. the sale of commercial freehold or leasehold property subject to existing leases (eg a shopping centre, hotel or serviced office block)

  2. the termination of a property management agreement and the appointment of a new managing agent

  3. a change in the contractor providing services at a building (eg cleaning or security services)

  4. the termination of a lease and grant of a new lease to a new tenant, and

  5. the assignment, surrender or variation of a lease where the tenant takes some or all of the management responsibility

TUPE 2006, in its current form, has been in force since 6 April 2006 (although its predecessor dates from 1981).

TUPE 2006 reflects European economic and social policy and implements Directive 2001/23/EC, the Acquired Rights Directive (ARD). This means that courts and employment tribunals are required to give TUPE 2006 a purposive construction to give effect to the purpose of the underlying Directive, namely to safeguard employee rights on

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