TUPE Masterclass

TUPE Masterclass

Economic uncertainty brings with it an increase in transfers of undertakings, particularly in relation to the outsourcing of services and service provision transfers. We’ve had a pandemic, Brexit and an economic hit never before seen since records began. Public sector pay freezes are on the way. Suffice to say, there’s a degree of economic uncertainty in 2021 and organisations will be looking for ways to survive. Others will be looking for opportunities.

Who better to guide us through these VUCA times and everyone’s favourite four-letter acronym (TUPE) than the TUPE King himself, Dr John McMullen?

TUPE experts from Jones Cassidy Brett and Carson McDowell explore with John how HR and other managers involved in the tendering process can influence a transfer situation – before, during and after a relevant transfer – to your advantage.

Our experts seek to demystify this difficult area of law for employers throughout the UK by providing exclusive practical checklists of value to those who may seek to put services out to tender or who may be interested in providing services caught by TUPE laws.

What will I get out of it – what are the learning outcomes?

• You will receive practical advice and from recognised experts in this field.

• You will receive a series of our exclusive practical checklists for clients, transferors and transferees that will help you shape the transfer to meet your needs and will reduce the scope for hidden liabilities and future litigation

• You will understand the main elements and how to avoid the traps involved in transfers.

• You will have an opportunity to quiz the experts during the seminar and networking breaks

Who is it for?

Commercial, Operations, Finance and Human Resource Managers will benefit greatly from attending this practical, commercial and legal update. This online seminar is for anyone who might be involved in transferring an organisation or service, or part of an organisation or service, from one employer to another and who would like to avoid the myriad pitfalls that surround this complex legislation. 

Register for your free place

To register for your free place please fill in the following form and a member of Legal Island's customer service team will be in touch with further information closer to the time of the event: https://forms.gle/MqcxyYh19HqqRReB6






Registration and Log on to Online Platform


Welcome and Introduction to this TUPE Masterclass from Dr John McMullen, with Adam Brett and Rachel Penny


Brief Overview of the Transfer Regulations and Client Checklist: Let’s all get on the same page by understanding the customary definitions and key concepts involved in a transfer situation, such as:

  • What is a service provision change?
  • When do the Regulations apply and when do they not apply in tendering situations?
  • What are the basic protections for employees involved in a TUPE transfer?

Speaker: Dr John McMullen, Partner, Spencer West


Shaping the TUPE Transfer (Part 1): The Client’s Checklist – as the person or organisation that decides whether to put a service, such as maintenance, cleaning, catering or even HR out to tender or re-tender, you have some control over the process. You can set standards, not just on how the contract must be performed, but on the information existing or new contractors must provide during and after any subsequent transfer of the contract to an incoming contractor.

Dr John McMullen takes you through our Client’s Checklist on how to front load an agreement to minimise service disruption in the subsequent event of a change of contractor.


Adam Brett, Partner, Jones Cassidy Brett, discusses client issues with Dr John McMullen, such as:

  • How do I shape the contract regarding issues such as geography, skills, call-off etc?
  • How do I ensure employee quality control, such as through the use of service level agreements (SLAs)?
  • How do I ensure I can obtain early Employment Liability Information (ELI)?
  • How do I avoid dumping/padding at the end of the contract?
  • Can I allocate risk /cost between transferor and transferee?
  • What are the main differences between NI and GB in relation to TUPE and service provisions changes?

We also discuss questions from the audience to John and Adam in relation to client issues.


Networking and Break


Shaping the TUPE Transfer (Part 2): The Transferor’s Checklist: As a potentially outgoing contractor, you have certain obligations – to the client, your employees and to any incoming contractor. In this session, Dr John McMullen, focusses on our Transferor’s Checklist and the influence you can have before and during a transfer situation that may (a) help you prepare for a possible loss of the contract (b) reduce your liabilities in the event of losing the contract and (c) assist your organisation to survive the loss of a contract.


Rachel Penny, Partner, Carson McDowell, discusses transferor issues with Dr John McMullen. For example,

  • Can you organise delivery of the contract to trigger or avoid TUPE?
  • If TUPE is triggered who is caught by it?
  • What information do I need to part with or share if I lose the contract?
  • What obligations do I have to staff who will transfer with the contract?
  • What can I do to ensure my organisation fits my needs after the loss of a contract?
  • What obligations is my organisation owed by the client or the new contractor if the contract is lost?

We also discuss questions from the audience to John and Adam in relation to transferor issues.


Lunch and Networking


Shaping the TUPE Transfer (Part 3): The Transferee’s Checklist – As a contractor hoping to win a contract from a competitor you need to get the correct information from the client and transferor, or you will be vulnerable to enormous hidden expenses that could jeopardise the profitability of the contract.

This is more than simply due diligence – asking the right questions and influencing the Client could give you an economic advantage and keep you out of the courts after you start providing the service. Dr John McMullen sets out our Transferee’s Checklist


Rachel Penny, Partner, Carson McDowell discusses Transferee issues with Dr John McMullen, such as:

  • Must the client provide Employment Liability Information? If not provided, can the contract be shaped to reduce risk?
  • How do I get ELI early enough?
  • How do I discover the true structure/assigned employees?
  • What contract terms are dangerous?
  • What measures do I intend, and when do I communicate?

We also discuss questions from the audience to John and Rachel in relation to transferee issues.


Break and Networking


Shaping the TUPE Transfer (Part 4): Common Post-transfer Issues – Despite your best efforts, pre-transfer, problems can still arise after a service provision change. In this session Dr John McMullen highlights what can be done by you (whether a client, transferor or transferee) to ameliorate these post-transfer difficulties. We consider in our Post-Transfer Checklist


Adam Brett, Partner, Jones Cassidy Brett discusses Transferee issues with Dr John McMullen, such as:

  • Harmonisation of terms of employment, and issuing new contracts, collective agreements and trade union recognition.
  • permissible transfer related dismissals before or after the transfer.
  • Claims post transfer and who is liable to meet those claims.
  • What protections can I obtain against such claims?

We also discuss questions from the audience to John and Rachel in relation to post-transfer issues.


Final Questions and Answers – A final chance to clarify matters with our panel of experts and raise any other TUPE issues not covered already in this focus on service provision change.




"Presenters were very knowledgeable in their field. Answered all questions and discussed reasons."
Fiona Dowds, HR Manager, Specialisterne NI

"Very well-prepared talks and presentations on the main issues."
Greg Quigg, Solicitor Consultant, NIHE Legal Services



  • Dr John McMullen
    Dr John McMullen Partner
    Spencer West

    John is an employment Partner at Spencer West as well as being Visiting Professor of Law at Leeds University Business School and serving on the editorial board of ELA Briefing, the journal of the Employment Lawyers Association. He was previously Head of Employment at Pinsent Masons.

    John is one of the UK's leading employment lawyers with a national and international reputation. He is the country's leading expert on TUPE and is involved in a wide range of TUPE related matters, including service provision change, mergers and acquisitions, and public sector and third sector transfers.

    He has been variously described as “the King of TUPE” and the “TUPE guru”. He is an expert in redundancies and restructuring and also provides advice to senior executives on termination of employment.


  • Adam Brett
    Adam Brett Partner
    Jones Cassidy Brett

    Adam Brett is a Partner in Jones Cassidy Brett. For many years Adam jointly headed the litigation department of a major Belfast Commercial Practice, and for the last 20 years he has concentrated increasingly on employment and discrimination matters. Adam has throughout his career advised a wide range of educational and charitable bodies, including Schools, Universities, Colleges, and other educational institutions in relation to employment, student and other concerns.


  • Rachel Penny
    Rachel Penny Partner
    Carson McDowell

    Rachel is a Partner in the firm's Employment Team. She is a graduate of Cambridge University and completed her Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in York.

    Rachel's experience straddles both contentious and non-contentious employment law for a wide range and size of clients. Rachel has particular expertise in advising on TUPE and other employment matters in corporate transactions and mergers, including public sector reorganisations. 

Event details


10am - 4pm


25 February 2021




Register for your free place: https://forms.gle/MqcxyYh19HqqRReB6