August 29, 2014

New business transfers guidance launched

Acas has issued the guidance to help clarify the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations, or TUPE as they are usually known.

Research has shown that one in eight workplaces in Britain has gone through some kind of business transfer, with such transfers affecting up to two million employees each year.

Acas chief executive Anne Sharp said: "TUPE is often seen as complicated but employers need to get to grips with the detail if they decide to buy a business or take on work being carried out by others.

"TUPE can affect all businesses and organisations, whatever their size or sector. One of our key messages is that you should involve employees early to minimise concerns and potential problems further down the track”.

Acas’s Handling TUPE Transfers guidance includes advice on when TUPE applies and information and consultation requirements. The organisation’s tips for managing business transfers include:

  • consulting as extensively as possible with affected staff
  • making sure contract information is up to date and reflects reality
  • setting up a employee forum and dedicate a management team to running the transfer
  • seeking expert advice, from legal advisers or Acas, if you are unsure about the TUPE process.

One new measure under TUPE that came into force on 31 July affects micro businesses: enterprises employing fewer than ten people. Under the new rules, they can inform and consult directly with each employee – rather than electing and consulting with representatives – affected by a business transfer. However, while this will assist small business, it does not assist companies which may only have one or two employees transferring – which are still obliged to go through the consultation with elected representatives unless the affected staff fail to elect them.

Royds’ offers comprehensive expertise in all aspects of employment law and can provide expert guidance to employers involved in business transfers to ensure understanding of their responsibilities under the TUPE regulations and compliance with these. For more information on our Employment Law services, please contact our specialist Employment & HR team.

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