TUPE - Transfer of undertakings protection of employment

TUPE - Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)​

TUPE (The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)) legislation is designed to protect the rights of employees when the business they work for changes hands. Practically, this stops employers changing employees terms and conditions just because the legal entity that employs them has changed.

When TUPE applies:

  • the employees’ jobs usually transfer over to the new company – exceptions could be if they’re made redundant or in some cases where the business is insolvent
  • their employment terms and conditions transfer
  • continuity of employment is maintained
TUPE - Transfer of undertakings protection of employment

TUPE applies to employees of businesses in the UK. The business could have its head office in another country, but the part of the business that’s transferring ownership must be in the UK. The size of the business also doesn’t matter.

When does TUPE apply?​

There are 2 types of transfer protected under TUPE regulations:

  • business transfers
  • service provision changes

Transfers within the public sector aren’t usually covered by TUPE but some transfers from the public sector into the private sector are. However, public-sector employees get similar protection.

Business transfers

This is where a business or part of a business moves from one employer to another. This can include mergers where 2 companies close and combine to form a new one.

The identity of the employer must change, to be protected under TUPE during a business transfer.

Service provision changes

This is when:

  • a service provided in-house (eg cleaning, workplace catering) is awarded to a contractor
  • a contract ends and is given to a new contractor
  • a contract ends and the work is transferred in-house by the former customer

Employees aren’t protected under TUPE if the contract is:

  • for the supply of goods for the company’s use (eg a restaurant changing food suppliers)
  • for a single event or short-term task (eg a catering company being used for a large corporate event)

Only the employees who can be clearly identified as providing the service being transferred are protected.


A courier collects and delivers for a business, but the packages are picked up or delivered by a number of different couriers on an ad hoc basis. The courier isn’t protected under TUPE.

A cleaner is employed by a company that decides to use an outside cleaning company instead. They’re likely to be protected under TUPE.

How can we help?

Cornerstone Resources can help you throughout the planning process and also in any required consultation with employees.

Who are Cornerstone Resources?

Based in South Manchester, Cornerstone Resources offer a complete HR service to businesses, charities and churches. With over 40 years combined experience in HR, we can offer you an enviable combination of professional expertise and a service based on integrity and honesty. Best of all, we can save you time and money. 

For more information on our offering, including cost effective Employee Relations support, click here. For a no obligation quote, call Rob today on 07494 161169 or Nicci on 07908 875146. Alternatively click the below button to email us.

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We will always complete our work to the best of our ability even if it costs us to do so.


We will be open and honest with you and will challenge a proposed course of action when we don’t believe it to be the best solution.

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We will look to not just meet your immediate needs but to add long term value to your organisation.

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