Mergers, acquisitions & TUPE

Successful business transfers rely on effective HR due diligence, integration planning and employee engagement. We advise on the human aspects of corporate transactions.


The HR elements of change initiatives such as mergers, acquisitions and other TUPE relevant transfers can often fall behind financial and regulatory concerns. But there is growing recognition that sustainable post-transfer success is only achievable where people-related issues are managed effectively throughout the process.

The imperative for HR is to take the lead in demonstrating value, driving change and supporting effective and successful post-transaction integration.

Through strategic integration planning, employee engagement and cultural evaluation, HR can assume control and exert influence to support a thriving and productive post-transfer workforce.

This includes undertaking HR due diligence in advance of any agreement being signed, to avoid delays, uncertainty, legal risk and negative impact on employee relations and morale.

Mergers, Acquisitions & TUPE considerations for HR

When embarking on a business or service transfer, it will be important to identify at the outset if TUPE will apply, and to follow the required lawful process. Our team of employment lawyers can support with the legal aspects of managing a TUPE transfer in full compliance with your duties. 

Our HR specialists can support with:

Communication – The impact on existing and transferring staff cannot be under-estimated.  While TUPE protects employees’ rights when the business transfers to a new employer, the personal impact will vary for each employee.  Communicating, consulting and involving people in the process will help alleviate any concerns and avoid employee relations issues.

Pre-transfer – Liaison between the two employers, where possible, can be highly beneficial in ensuring an effective transition for employees. Both parties should be aware of and undertake to meet their own statutory obligations in relation to employee consultation.

Transfer – For HR, the formal transfer does not signify the end of the process. Organisational change can be a source of considerable uncertainty and anxiety for affected employees. Communication and engagement will be critical to maintain morale and avoid attrition. Both incoming and outgoing employers must consult with their respective employees about the transfer, ensuring all staff are managed, settled and clear about their roles and responsibilities. 

Post-transfer – Ongoing communication and engagement is needed to preserve morale and performance and retain personnel, with reasonable allowances potentially having to be made during the settling in phase.


We can help

At DavidsonMorris, we help management and HR teams navigate the people-related issues of organisational change programmes.

Whether you are undergoing a merger, acquisition or a TUPE-relevant business transfer, we can support with an overall people strategy for the transfer and post-transfer operational plan.

We will design a service bespoke to your specific requirements, to complement and support your in-house capability:

  • Pre-transfer HR due diligence
  • Identify people related expenses and liabilities
  • Employee engagement to inform of process and post-transfer roles and responsibilities
  • Integration planning
  • Post-transfer harmonisation of HR policies, procedures and systems
  • Cultural evaluation
  • ‘Welcome’ and induction support for transferring employees
  • Retention strategies
  • TUPE and redundancies

Through our due diligence support, we can help you identify people-related risks, process disparities and cultural differences and quantify the financial aspect of the people issues, including all associated costs and hidden liabilities such as pensions and benefits.

As people are a core, transferable asset, it will be critical to ensure retention post-transfer. We can support with developing retention strategies for key personnel.

We also provide critical support for in-house HR teams in delivering the operational and transactional tasks relating to the change initiative.

Contact us for specialist guidance. 



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