Responsibilities to employees if you buy or sell a business
The transfer of employee liability information
When you transfer employees from your business, you must provide certain information about the employees who are transferring to the new employer. This is known as employee liability information.
The aim of this information is to give the new employer time to understand their obligations towards the transferred employees.
You must provide all information in writing not less than 14 days before the relevant transfer. This can be as electronic files as long as the new employer can readily access the information.
If there is not much information to pass on, eg because only a few employees are transferring, you can provide the information by telephone. Consider asking the new employer which method they would prefer. It would be prudent to keep a full record of all such information, either way.
You can provide the information in stages. However, you must have given all the information before - ideally at least two weeks before - the completion of the transfer. You can also provide the information via a third party if you wish.
You cannot agree with the new employer not to supply this information.
If you do not provide employee liability information, the new employer can make a complaint to an industrial tribunal. This could lead to a compensatory award for any loss the new employer incurs due to not having the information. Compensation is usually at least £500 per employee affected.
The information you must provide
You must provide:
- identity and ages of the employees who will transfer
- their statements of employment particulars
- details of any collective agreements that apply
- details of any formal disciplinary action taken in the past two years to which the statutory disciplinary and dismissal procedures apply
- details of any employee grievances raised in the past two years to which the LRA Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures applies
- instances of any legal actions against you in the past two years by the transferring employees and any potential legal actions that may be brought
If any of this information changes before the transfer is complete, you must provide the changes in writing to the new employer.