Business clinic: Challenging TUPE laws

If you’ve won an outsourcing contract or brought services back in-house, then as an employer you may have been caught by a law commonly known as TUPE - or to give its full title – Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.

Taylors-Emma-SwanBy Emma Swan, Taylors Solicitors.

Maybe you were told you were legally obliged to take on the employees of the outgoing contractor, despite not accounting for it in your bid costs? So did you consider challenging whether TUPE actually applied to you?

TUPE implements a European directive into UK companies designed to protect employees whose business is being transferred to another business and to ensure those employees are treated in a similar way to those working in a company that is sold.

A general interpretation of the regulations often leads to businesses concluding they have no alternative other than to accept TUPE, even without any proper examination of the specific circumstances of their situation.

Whilst it may be seen to be a brave, and maybe risky, decision, most business owners, if they knew the option was available to them, would seize the opportunity to challenge the rules and potentially avoid unnecessary costs that would otherwise eat into the bottom line. So, if you found yourself in a similar situation, why wouldn’t your business challenge it?

Challenging TUPE in outsourcing contracts is a particular specialism of our employment team. In recent years it has been heavily involved in working with businesses that have decided to question whether TUPE applies and have challenged the obligations on them to take on the outgoing contractors’ employees, with a track record of significant successes. If you have been caught by TUPE in the past or you’re involved in outsourcing and would like to know how this could potentially affect your business, then get in touch and find out how Taylors can help.