TUPE Regulations

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The TUPE Regulations give protection to employees whose employment is transferred from one company to another, either because of the sale of a business or because of the loss of a contract to perform a particular service.

In these circumstances, employees usually cannot be dismissed and the terms and conditions of their employment contract cannot be changed. This is a simple idea but it leads to some highly complex law, which many solicitors would prefer to avoid. Fortunately, our specialist advocates focus only on employment law and we have a great deal of experience dealing with tough TUPE issues, having appeared frequently at the Employment Tribunal and in the famous reported cases of Power v Regent Security Services [2007] IRLR 226 and Tapere v South London and Maudsley NHS Trust [2009] IRLR 972.

A consideration of the effect of the TUPE Regulations should form a central part of the due diligence that is conducted on the purchase of a new business or during a tendering process. It is important for employers to take advice about TUPE at an early stage in order to avoid large claims by multiple employees for failing to follow the correct procedure. We are able to give such advice and we are also able to advise both employees and employers of their rights if a dispute arises that is likely to lead to Employment Tribunal proceedings. We can draft all the paperwork needed to take a claim through the system and we can appear at the hearing itself.

Tapere Claims

Recent changes to the TUPE Regulations have resulted in a new type of situation, known as a Tapere claim. This is where an employee is transferred, often unwillingly, from an employer based in one location to an employer based in another location. This usually arises where the new employer outbids the old employer in order to win a contract to provide a service. In this situation, the mobility clause in the employment contract will continue to apply and the new employer cannot force the employee to change his or her place of work without agreement.

Tapere claims are named after the case of Tapere v South London and Maudsley NHS Trust [2009] IRLR 972, in which James Medhurst of Employment Law Advocates appeared before the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. He has also conducted five cases before the Employment Tribunal concerning bus drivers who were forced to move to a depot several miles away from their home. As a result, he has more experience of this type of claim than anyone else in the country. All of these cases had a successful outcome, where the employers were found liable to pay compensation for both redundancy and unfair dismissal.

We are able to assist any employees who find themselves in a similar situation but please get in touch with us as soon as you possibly can because there is a time limit for making claims.

We are also able to advise employers who are in the process of bidding for contracts and wish to understand the effect that TUPE is likely to have on their freedom to move employees to a new location. Although the new law makes the position difficult for employers, this does not mean that there is nothing which can be done and we can provide several possible solutions.

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Employment Law Advocates
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