TUPE and Employee Termination

Employees who have been transferred under TUPE have, like all other employees, the right not to have their employment terminated unfairly (i.e. illegally). In the context of a TUPE transfer, this means that employees cannot have their employment terminated legally simply because they have been transferred.


However, this does not mean that transferred employees can never have their employment terminated. The law acknowledges that there may be circumstances when it is fair to do so. These circumstances may be economic, technical, or organisational. In employment law jargon - "ETO".


Subject to the actual circumstances prevailing at the time,  this may mean that it is fair to terminate the employment of a transferred employee if, e.g.:

  • there is not enough work and therefore redundancies are required (economic)

  • the introduction of new technology means some jobs are redundant (technical)

  • two departments are merged together and there are less jobs as a result (organisational)

However, it will always be more difficult to convince an Employment Law Tribunal (which is where you will end up if you get it wrong) that an employee termination was un-connected with the transfer if it occurs near the time of the transfer. The converse is also true. The longer after the transfer the employee termination takes place the less likely it will be held to be as a consequence of the transfer.


If you would like to find out more about TUPE  click here.


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Our track record


1995 - Transfer of Electrical Retailing Business under TUPE

1999 - Qualified out the potential transfer-in of an IT Services operation due to excessive risks associated with pension costs

2000 - Transfer-in of IT SAP Consulting business.

2003 - Integration of Consulting teams and remuneration schemes following merger of IT companies

2004 - Transfer-in of IT Services Operation supporting a major Insurance company

2006 - Transfer-in of sales force to newly created French subsidiary of a UK manufacturing business

2007 - Managed the TUPE transfer-in of Chauffeuring team following the re-assignment of a contract of service by a major international Media and Information company

2008 - Advised a major Property Services Company on the development of their strategy for Outsourcing IT Services and managing the TUPE issues within a context of multiple previous acquisitions and transfers

2009 - Advised a top University on the development of their strategy for in-sourcing previously out-sourced IT Services and for managing the TUPE implications


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