As an employee, if your employer is planning to, or in the process of being purchased or merging, you may understandably have some concerns regarding your position. Thankfully, under Irish law, any business or organisation seeking to transfer workers as part of a buy-out or merger must follow strict regulations designed to protect the rights of employees. These regulations are referred to as the European Communities (Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations, 2003 (the TUPE Regulations). If you have any concerns in relation to transfer of undertakings protection of employment, Lavelle Partners are here to assist you.
What do the TUPE regulations mean for employees?
During any business (or part of a business) transfer or merger, there is a legal obligation under the TUPE regulations in Ireland for the new employer to take on existing staff under the same contractual terms. The regulations state:
“Following a transfer, the transferee shall continue to observe the terms and conditions agreed in any collective agreement on the same terms applicable to the transferor under that agreement until the date of termination or expiry of the collective agreement or the entry into force or application of another collective agreement”.
TUPE is applicable whether you are an employee, apprentice, agency worker, or civil servant/state employee. TUPE is designed to ensure that employees are not unfairly disadvantaged as a result of a business transaction, and even means that the tenure period you have accrued with your existing employer is also transferred to the new employer.
The regulations mean that employees cannot be dismissed solely due to the transfer. This, however, does not mean that dismissals will not occur for other reasons, such as specific positions being made redundant for other economic, technical or organisational reasons. If you have been dismissed, or you have been advised your role is ‘at risk’ due to a recent or pending transfer of business, contact our team of employment law Solicitors, who will be able to determine if there is a legal basis for doing so. If not, we will seek to protect your rights under Irish employment law.
When must my existing employer explain how I will be affected by a business transfer?
Your old employer must explain to you no later than 30 days prior to the business transfer when it will happen, why the transfer is happening and how you will be affected from a legal, economic and social perspective, including any specific measures which are being put in place.
Will my pension be affected by a TUPE transfer?
If you have an existing occupational pension, this will not transfer to the new employer; this means they are not obliged to continue making pension contributions on your behalf.
However, your new employer must ensure that rights conferring immediate or prospective entitlement to old age benefits, including survivor’s benefits, are protected.
This can be a complex area of TUPE law; if you have any questions regarding your pension rights, please contact one of Lavelle Partners transfer of undertakings lawyers, who take the time to listen to your situation, and explain your rights in full.
How Lavelle’s TUPE solicitors can assist you.
- Our team of transfer of undertakings employment law Solicitors, headed by Senior Partner, Marc Fitzgibbon, has been assisting employees for over 30 years in relation to business transfer and merger matters, and as a result, has developed a strong and enviable reputation nationally for achieving excellence in this area of law.
- Marc is a former member of the Law Society of Ireland’s Employment & Equality Law Committee and European Employment Lawyers Association.
- We understand the emotional impact of uncertainty in relation to changing employers under TUPE and will handle your case with the utmost empathy and determination to defend your rights.
- Furthermore, we understand that transfer of undertakings protection of employment matters often need to be managed with the utmost confidentiality.
Our partnership with Talbot Pierce
Lavelle Partners work with Talbot Pierce to provide a seamless service in respect of Human Resource Management. Talbot Pierce is a team of specialist HR professionals who work with us on a range of matters including advice on and delivery of conflict/dispute resolution solutions, best-practice HR strategies, policies and procedures.
For further information on transfer of undertakings protection of employment in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800*.
*Please note that fees apply to all consultations.