TUPE is short for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006
What does it do? It PRESERVES and PROTECTS workers' rights when the ownership of a business changes.
The typical case of a TUPE transfer is the sale of a business. However, it is now established that TUPE may apply when a continuing operation comes under new ownership or control.
Importantly, TUPE can apply to the contracting-out of Local Authority services and other forms of market testing by public bodies. But whether or not it does so on any particular occasion can sometimes be very uncertain.
TUPE does NOT apply if the identity of the legal employer does not change. For example, a sale of shares in a Company rather than a business; or a tendering exercise where the existing contractor keeps the contract.
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