Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Light at the end of the TUPE
Both situations would cause great concern for many working in the UK who are dependent on their jobs to support families and meet financial commitments. So this begs the question; what happens to me if one of these occasions arises in the company I work for?
The answer is quite simply TUPE… however TUPE itself is not so simple!
So what does TUPE stand for? The answer is ‘Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)’. So that’s great, we know what TUPE stands for but what on earth does that mean? In reference to our 2 scenario’s above TUPE means that when another company takes over the one you work for or takes over the work that your company currently carries out they effectively take you with them.
TUPE therefore means that your employment transfers to the new owner of the business with your exact terms & conditions of employment remaining the same. You might then think you are treated as a new employee within that company. However you are in fact treated as though you had worked for that company the entire time, which is known as ‘continuous service’.
It may therefore be that the company you transfer to keeps everything exactly the same and your job is safe and continues as normal. This is of course in an ideal world and is often not the case. This is where the benefit of TUPE comes into play. If your role is then put at risk to be made redundant, as say for example all of the work is being outsourced to a factory in India, because you transferred under TUPE you are still entitled to any notice or redundancy payments that were set out in your original contract.
This is also where ‘continuous service’ comes into play. To put it simply, the longer you are employed with a company the more money you will receive if made redundant. Therefore you will benefit from transferring under TUPE because you length of service is protected.
All in all, everyone hopes that this situation will never arise. However if it does all hope is not lost there is some light at the end of the tunnel… or in this case TUPE!
This Guest Blog post was written by Gareth Johnston: HR Advisor at Hewlett-Packard (Manpower Professional). Find him on Twitter at @HRFeed