Calling us about TUPE? 3 key points to consider
We often get phone calls from clients to discuss “a quick TUPE question”, but it is really rare that a TUPE query can be answered during a 5 minute phone call. Here are some of the things to bear in mind before you pick up the phone…
Number 1: Information, information, information…
One of the first thing that we will ask you as lawyers in response to a TUPE query is for information. When it comes to TUPE, the more information you have about the proposed transaction and the affected employees, the better. Where possible, we would always recommend that you send over your query with accompanying information by email in the first instance to ensure that during our first phone call, we can get straight on to our advice.
Number 2: It’s not up to you!
The next thing that we will tell you is that TUPE operates by law, not choice. We often receive queries from clients about how they can avoid TUPE applying to a particular employee. However, if an employee falls within scope to transfer, they will automatically transfer unless they object.
Number 3: Planning is key
The final thing we will ask you about is your proposed timescales. Depending on whether you are the seller or buyer, there are certain deadlines imposed by TUPE for relevant steps to be complied with. All too often, even if the parties accept that TUPE applies, compliance with the specific requirements of TUPE can be an afterthought. In such circumstances, a process which should be straight-forward and non-contentious can become time-pressured and fraught.
This note is part of a series of notes on TUPE prepared by solicitors in our employment team. Please see the other notes for more information, or contact Claire, Rachael or Rebecca if you have any queries.