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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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I got taken on under TUPE a little while ago but I was wondering,

Resolved Question:

I got taken on under TUPE a little while ago but I was wondering, does the terms and conditions of my entire contract follow me to the new job or is it just the conditions about pay and holiday etc?

For example, I work in a target driven environment but there are no targets set out as a condition in my contract, my employer says that I must meet their targets irrespective of my contract as it stands.

Lastly does the new employer have an obligation under "like pay" to bring those who are taken on by a business under TUPE on to equal pay of those on the new employers contract?

Someone who is taken on and does the same job as me for £8,000 more than me, can the employer refuse to bring my pay inline because of TUPE or can I instigate a case for "like pay"?

Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for please?


With the old employer, it would have been 2 years then they instigated tupe at which point I have been with the new employer since July 2013.

Ben Jones :

OK, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX this with me - I will look into this for you, get my response ready and get back to you on here. No need to wait around and you will get an email when I have responded, thank you


Thank you

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. If TUPE applies to a transfer, those employees assigned to the transferring business will move to the new employer on their existing terms conditions. Simply put, the new employer will 'step into the shoes' of their old employer and the employees should continue working for the new employer as if nothing had changed, apart from the name of their employer.


The above is the ideal outcome, although post-transfer difficulties may often arise. For example, the new employer may wish to try and change some of the incoming employees’ terms and conditions. However, under Regulation 4(4) of TUPE any such changes are automatically void, unless the employer can show they were in no way connected to the transfer or if they were necessary for an economic, technical or organisational reason (ETO reason) subject to employee agreement or the terms of the contract permitting the change.


Some employers may try and justify changes by arguing that they are needed due to harmonisation and therefore rely on an ETO reason. However, Government guidance and case law has restricted the application of harmonisation as a genuine reason to amend a person's terms of employment. Harmonisation will only be a valid reason if there is a change in the workforce and this must involve change in the numbers, or possibly functions, of the employees. In practice, relatively few contractual changes would involve such changes so harmonisation will rarely be used as a justifiable reason.


If the changes are part of a wider reorganisation which has nothing to do with the transfer, then they may be effective. The longer the gap between the TUPE transfer and any reorganisation, the greater the chance that the causal connection will be broken. However, there is no specific period after which it is safe to say that the connection with the TUPE transfer has been broken, as the test is whether the change is connected to the transfer. The mere passing of time does not of itself break the connection.


It is for the employer to prove that a proposed change is permissible under TUPE and if there are concerns that the changes cannot be made, this can be challenged by raising a formal grievance first and then considering making a claim in an employment tribunal.


As to claiming for equal pay, I am afraid this will not be possible. TUPE protects your existing terms but it does not give you the right to ask to be brought in line with the company’s existing terms – so it can either work in your favour, if your terms are better, or it may not be helpful if you are on worse off terms when you move – whatever the case, the employer will have to keep you existing terms, subject to the allowed changes as mentioned above.


Thank you very much for the information and clarafaction on the subject, that helps me out a great deal.

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

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