Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006
Service provision changes
TUPE 2006 has widened the scope of the Regulations to cover cases where services are outsourced, insourced or assigned by a client to a new contractor (described in the Regulations as “service provision changes”).
“Service provision changes” concern relationships between the client [i.e. the Practice] and a contractor who provides services to the client. Examples include contracts to provide services such as office cleaning, workplace catering, grounds/building maintenance, security guarding.
The changes to such contracts can take three principal forms:
- where a service previously undertaken by the client [the Practice] is awarded to a contractor (often called “contracting out” or “outsourcing”)
- where a contract is awarded to a different contractor following a tendering process
- where a contract ends and the service is brought “in house” by the client [the Practice] (often called “contracting in” or “insourcing”)
TUPE applies only to those changes in service provision which involve “an organised grouping of employees which has as its principal purpose the carrying out of the activities concerned on behalf of the client [the Practice]”. This is intended to confine the Regulations’ coverage to cases where the transferor [i.e. the Practice in the case of outsourcing, or the 'old' contractor in cases of insourcing or change of contractor] has in place an employee or a team of employees to carry out the service activities, and that team is essentially dedicated to carrying out the activities that are to transfer.
Implications for practices
Before considering contracting out, contracting in, or changing contractors (e.g. cleaning contracts, grounds or building maintenance), Practices should seek expert legal advice on whether TUPE applies, and if so, the implications and what options may exist.
Department for Business Innovation & Skills booklet 'A guide to the TUPE Regulations'