What is a relevant transfer of an undertaking?

TUPE will apply to what are known as ‘relevant transfers’ which may occur in a wide range of situations. The two broad categories are business transfers and service provisions changes. Some transfers will be both a business transfer and a service provision change.

The law on relevant transfers in the case of contracting out and changes of contractors for labour intensive activities such as cleaning has given rise to confusion in the past.

Quite simply, if a TUPE transfer applies, all terms and conditions of work and continuity of employment should be preserved. This principle applies to all employees who were employed in the entity transferred immediately before the transfer; and those who would have been so employed if they had not been unfairly dismissed for a reason connected with the transfer.

Subject to a one year qualifying period, such a dismissal will be automatically unfair for a reason connected with the transfer unless it is for an 'economic, technical or organizational' reason.

Consultation and notification

The transferor has a responsibility to conduct a full and meaningful consultation with employees at the earliest practicable time. Failure to conduct consultation results in liability for the payment of compensation which may be up to 13 weeks' pay.

If the transferor does not provide this information, the transferee may apply to an employment tribunal for such amount as it considers just and equitable. Compensation starts at a minimum of £500 for each employee in respect of whom the information was not provided or was defective.

The transferee takes over the liability for all statutory rights, claims and liabilities arising from the contract of employment, for example, liabilities in tort, unfair dismissal, equal pay and discrimination claims. The exception to this rule applies to criminal liabilities

Our Approach

Donnington will deal with all aspects of the transfer, adhering to current guidelines and procedures. We employ specialist employment law consultants and have considerable experience in dealing with TUPE and will guide you the client through the whole process. It is important to remember that consultation taken under TUPE is "undertaken with a view to seeking agreement". Agreement means consent from both parties and not one side unilaterally imposing its view.

Having the right procedures and policies in place can help avoid future problems and establish our reputation as an employer people like to work for.


Should you require any further information please get in touch by calling on 0800 107 6077 or by e-mailing us at info@donningtonclean.com

Donnington Clean

Donnington Limited
T: 0800 107 6077 (24hrs)
E: info@donningtonclean.com