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Contracts and TUPE

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When a service provided by a charity moves to a new organisation, the employees may be protected under TUPE law, in which case the employees transfer with the service. A whole charity could transfer, or part of a charity.

The TUPE Regulations apply to both the transferor (old employer) and the transferee (receiving employer).

What does TUPE mean?

TUPE refers to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 as amended by the Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014. This is the legal framework that regulates the transfer of staff when services are transferred from one business to another.

The main reason for these regulations is to protect people’s jobs when service provision changes from one service provider to another.

Determining whether TUPE applies

It is not always clear whether TUPE applies. For example, a commissioner may decide to reconfigure services so that activities previously provided by one charity will in the future be provided by several organisations. In this case, the charity previously providing all the activities may not be able to transfer their staff and so may need to go through a redundancy exercise. However, if the service being tendered is more or less the same as that currently being delivered, it is likely that staff will need to be transferred.

Being prepared

If you are bidding to deliver a service, TUPE is one of the key things you must be clear about. The contracting authority should provide guidance, but it is always worth receiving professional HR and/or legal advice.

There are also obligations on the transferor to provide information on their workforce that should enable to transferee to work out the financial implications as part of the bidding process.

Please read our detailed section on TUPE, and take HR or legal advice on whether TUPE applies in your situation.


NCVO members can access free HR, Employment, and Health & Safety Advice through the Croner Business Support Helpline.


Page last edited Jun 28, 2018

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