I have acted on a significant number of acquisitions and sales of businesses over the years at Randall & Payne so I understand the TUPE requirements but have never been involved ‘first-hand’.
I am aware of TUPE requirements, however, in transactions I have advised on for clients I have left this to the HR professionals to navigate the process with the involvement of the buyer and seller. Seeing the full TUPE process from the client’s perspective was a valuable lesson as there are learnings from having been through this process which I will share with my clients in the future. Randall & Payne recently acquired Little and Company and as a result, we engaged with HR People Support Ltd to manage the TUPE process and to assist the employees with the transition to become part of our team. Gemma Irvine of HR People Support sets out the objectives and background of a TUPE process in her Guest article; How to successfully navigate TUPE.
Notably from my perspective the TUPE process, can on first review, seem quite onerous and process based. However, as we understood the procedures better through discussions with HR People Support, we recognised that the process afforded us a great opportunity to:
- Engage with the team at an early opportunity through consultation meetings;
- Use these one-to-one meetings as an opportunity to build a rapport and trust with the team given that being the subject of an acquisition can be an uncertain time for the business being acquired;
- Present what we stand for and set out our culture and strategic plans;
- Ask questions of the team to understand their concerns and allay any fears they may have.
In summary, the TUPE process has a number of key steps as Gemma highlights in her article. The process can seem complex but, with the right advice, it is broken down into manageable stages. The key point for me is to welcome the process as an opportunity to engage with your new team and to set out what makes your organisation tick and how the new team will be a critical part of it.
From a more administrative perspective, having professional support in obtaining the necessary information to complete the ELI (Employee Liability Information) was helpful. Not only did this share the load of information review, the breadth of information collated was particularly relevant for future requirements as this represents the critical information that an employer needs to know.
I am sure that, having been at the centre of the TUPE process now, I will be sharing the knowledge and experience I have gained when carrying out future acquisition projects with clients.
Ollie Newbold leads our Corporate Finance team and is experienced in facilitating acquisitions across many different markets – to arrange a no-obligation chat with Ollie call 01242 776000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.