What is TUPE?

What is TUPE?

We know what some of you might be thinking – what on earth is TUPE?

One thing we are not here to do is provide you with a whole lot of legal jargon surrounding compliance and adherence to specific laws.

This topic focuses on the basics of TUPE and how this applies to suppliers who are tendering!

TUPE is an abbreviation of Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment.

This is commonly used in a range of industries and rarely used in others, however, we still think this is useful to comprehend, as this is widely considered across many UK tenders.

Let’s give you an example:

So, Bill, Bob, and Ben are all IT Technicians for a local council on behalf of Company A.

Company Z has just won the tender to provide the IT Technical Solutions Contract over a 5-year period for this local council, meaning Company A will no longer provide the services.

To ensure Bill, Bob and Ben are not made redundant or out of work due to the supplier changeover, the local council has stipulated that TUPE will apply as part of Company Z’s contract win.

Company Z must then liaise with the council or Company A in order to start the relationship with Bill, Bob, and Ben and ensure their transfer from Company A over to Company Z goes without a hitch.

They undergo company consultations and inductions and ensure a fair and transparent process is followed, which complies with TUPE regulations and legislation.

Make sense? – it’s basically a procedure, governed by law, to move employees and any liabilities associated with them from an old employer to a new employer, and when it comes to procurement and supplier changeover, TUPE can be rife!

How does it affect you?

Again, this is used frequently in some sectors, whilst rarely used in others. You may find you may never have to deal with TUPE. But it’s always good to be aware of what to expect.

The likes of Engineering, Technology, Construction, Utilities, Manufacturing and Logistics, where continuous delivery/support is required with certain buyers from grass-root operatives to supervisory staff, means TUPE majorly applies to ensure employees of Company A can continue to work on contracts when Company Z takes over.

If TUPE does apply and you have to inherit one or more employees as part of the contract-win, you’ll have to consider multiple things regarding the management of TUPE as per your tender response.

  • Assess the TUPE database! – this may be on a spreadsheet or a similar information sheet – make sure a full assessment is made on this. This should detail employee liabilities, such as sick pay, holiday pay, etc. This is where the most basic details of the employee come to light, so you can ensure you can afford the staff you may potentially inherit.
  • Price Correctly! – use the details of all TUPE staff (acquired from the database/information sheet) to ensure you are taking into account clear variances in your pricing model. You may pay your staff a specific amount, but the incumbent supplier may pay them a lot differently. Take this into consideration.

***Hint: For those that don’t know – the term incumbent supplier means ‘current/existing supplier’

  • Understand your responsibilities! – do you need to contact the new employees directly or will the buyer bridge this relationship initially? – Understand what you need to do when it comes to managing TUPE staff.
  • Get Help! – in your tender response, if there are any questions on TUPE management, state how you’ll use a reputable and fully qualified legal service for support, advice, and guidance to ensure full complicity against the regulations.

For our TUPE Fact Sheet – please CLICK HERE!

If you’re struggling with the minefield that can be TUPE and want to ask us some questions. Join the LinkedIn discussion today by CLICKING HERE.

Or if you require some support with your tender management approach and want to speak with a professional regarding TUPE, you can speak to one of our Tender Consultants.  We are always on hand to help you understand and succeed!

CLICK HERE to get in touch!

How about discovering those all-important opportunities where TUPE may or may not apply? Get in touch today for your free demo on one of our 10-industry-specific platforms. This provides you will both Public AND Private opportunities across your sector – DAILY!