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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Employee information during a business transfer or takeover

If your employer is involved in a transfer or takeover there is certain information they must provide about the workforce to your new employer. Your employment rights are protected and your future employer cannot 'pick and choose' which employees they take on.

Information provided to the new employer

The employer who is transferring you to a new employer (called the ‘transferring employer’) must provide your new employer with information about the transferring employees, including:

  • identity
  • age
  • details contained in their 'statement of employment particulars'
  • any collective agreements which apply to them
  • disciplinary actions taken towards the employees within the last two years under the statutory dispute resolution procedures, before 6 April 2009
  • disciplinary actions taken towards the employees under the Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures, after 6 April 2009
  • grievances raised by the employees within the last two years under the statutory dispute resolution procedures
  • grievances raised by the employees under the Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures, after 6 April 2009
  • any legal actions taken by the transferring employees against the transferring employer within the last two years
  • any potential legal actions that the transferring employer reasonably believes the transferring employees might raise

This information should be provided at least two weeks before the completion of the transfer. It should help your new employer to understand your rights and their duties and obligations to prepare for your arrival.

Dismissal as a result of a business transfer or takeover

Your future employer cannot pick and choose which employees to take on, they also cannot dismiss you just because a transfer has happened.

If you are dismissed in connection with the transfer this is automatically unfair, unless there is an 'economic, technical or organisational' reason for a change in the workforce.

An example of an economic technical or organisational change to the workforce could be the need for redundancies because a contract was unexpectedly lost.

Your employer should not, for example, take staff on as part of the workforce and then decide that the workforce is too large and make redundancies. This would be a reason connected with the transfer.

What to do if you have problems

Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) offers confidential help and advice on employment rights. Alternatively, you could contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for help.

If you cannot resolve the problem with the employer informally, you may be able to make a complaint to an Employment Tribunal. You must be an employee, have 12 months' continuous employment and either:

  • be dismissed because of a reason to do with a business transfer or takeover
  • feel entitled or forced to resign because of a reason to do with a business transfer or takeover

If you want to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal for any of these reasons you must make your complaint within three months. If you want to make a claim for a redundancy payment, you should make a claim within six months.

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