When a school converts to academy status or merges into a multi-academy trust (MAT), the transfer of staff falls under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) Regulations 2006 (as amended by the Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014). TUPE operates by law to ensure that staff (employees) working in the school will transfer automatically on their existing terms and conditions to the new employer (transferee).

The TUPE rules apply to organisations of all sizes and protect employees' rights when the organisation or service they work for transfers to The Regulations have implications for the employer who is making the transfer and the employer who is taking it on.

The TUPE process is a very complex area of law. It is recommended that, as early as possible in the conversion process, advice is taken from an appropriately experienced legal advisor. The process needs to be handled carefully and comprises informing and consulting with staff and their representatives; exchange of information between the outgoing (transferor) and prospective (transferee) employers; and TUPE protection — the restrictions and processes around making changes to staffing and terms and conditions.

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