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Changes to the obligation to inform and consult on TUPE transfers

July 2024

Changes to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (‘TUPE’) come into effect on 1 July 2024.

These changes are likely to be welcomed by small to medium-sized businesses as they provide greater flexibility to employers in complying with their duty to inform and consult affected employees in relation to a TUPE transfer.

A business preparing for the sale of part or all of an undertaking or service provision can now consult directly with affected employees if:
– there are no recognised trade union or employee representatives AND
– the employer has not already invited the affected employees to elect representatives AND
– either the employer has fewer than 50 employees OR
– fewer than 10 employees will transfer.

There is nothing to prevent an employer in either scenario from arranging an election to vote for employee representatives if this is preferred.

Please get in touch if you require any advice as to how to get the process right for your business. A failure to do so can be costly: transferors and transferees are jointly liable for any breach of the duty to inform and consult. This could result in protective awards reaching as high as 13 weeks’ gross pay for each affected employee.