Responsibilities to employees if you buy or sell a business

Your responsibilities to employees transferred out of your business


You have important responsibilities to your employees if they are transferred out of your business.

Who transfers?

Those who transfer are employees employed by the transferor and assigned to the organised grouping of resources that is going to be transferred.

Therefore those who cannot transfer are:

  • those only temporarily assigned to the organised grouping
  • the self-employed
  • independent contractors

However, an employee can still transfer even if they don't spend all their time working for the grouping to be transferred.

Information and consultation

Under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 and/or the Service Provision Change (Protection of Employment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 (known collectively as TUPE), you are required to inform and consult the representatives of those employees affected by the transfer. Inform and consult your employees.

Affected employees are not just those who are going to transfer - other employees in the business may be affected by the transfer and have a right to be informed and consulted too.

See informing and consulting employees about business transfers.

Refusal to transfer

If an employee refuses to transfer with a business, they have not been dismissed but have effectively resigned. This means that they lose the right to claim certain employment rights.

See resignations connected with a business transfer.

Employee liability information

When employees transfer out of your business, you must give the new employer certain information about those employees. See the transfer of employee liability information.