When a business changes ownership there is a multitude of complexities that the new business owner must deal with. Quite often employment legislation is left to last and this can be a risky strategy as employees are protected under TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings, Protection of Employment) legislation.
We have witnessed a huge increase in organisations requesting guidance with TUPE year on year. This is partly due to the recognition by smaller organisations that TUPE legislation is not only the preserve of multinational companies.
TUPE can apply regardless of the size of the business. Organisations would be best advised to seek professional assistance when dealing with this complex area of employment legislation.
1. Check whether or not TUPE legislation applies to the takeover or merger.
2. Remember that even if the business has its head office in another jurisdiction, TUPE will apply to the part of the business that is transferring in Northern Ireland.
3. Carry out a consultation process with staff to ensure they are fully informed of the changes.
4. Be aware that existing employees will transfer to the new company.
5. Ensure that continuity of employment is preserved.
6. Ensure that existing terms and conditions of employment are preserved.