Promoting partnership working in the NHS

The SPF Staff Transfer Guide

The national Social Partnership Forum (SPF) brings together NHS Employers, NHS Trade Unions, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Health Education England and the Department of Health and Social Care to contribute to the development and implementation of policy that impacts on the workforce.

The SPF produced this guide because it is committed to supporting staff through change and transfer. Social partners worked together when developing the guide and continue with this partnership approach to keep it up-to-date.

SPF Staff Transfer Guide

Welcome to the SPF staff transfer guide. This guide is an online tool designed to support staff who are facing transfer under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) or a statutory transfer from an NHS organisation to a provider of NHS funded services in England. It provides essential information - explaining the implications of the transfer on a staff member's pay, pension and terms and conditions and sets out the employment standards staff have the right to expect, wherever they undertake NHS funded work.

The guide applies to staff who work for an NHS employer in England. If you are transferring out of an NHS organisation or an organisation contracted to undertake NHS work in England to a job working for a provider of NHS funded services in another part of the UK, you may want to discuss the implications for your employment status and rights with your HR or trade union representative. More information on the NHS in the rest of the UK can be found on the following websites:

What kind of transfer? Pick your route

I am employed in the NHS and transferring to another job in the NHS - the red route

I am employed in the NHS and transferring to a job in a local authority - the green route

I am employed in the NHS and transferring to a job with an independent provider (this includes private sector companies, charities, not for profit organisations, and social enterprises) - the blue route

I am employed in the NHS and transferring to a job in a GP practice - the orange route

If you are compulsory transferred from a local authority, independent provider or GP practice to a job in the NHS, TUPE is, subject to legal advice, likely to apply and your employment contract would transfer from one employer to the other without any change to terms and conditions, and without a break in continuity of service.

Useful resources

We have included links throughout the guide to documents and further guidance and these can all be found on our resource library web page.

Frequently asked questions

We asked employers and trade union representatives what the key issues are for staff facing transfer, and the questions they are most frequently asked. Visit our frequently asked questions web page to read the questions and answers under each route.

How to use the SPF Staff Transfer Guide

The guide is primarily designed to be used by staff involved in a transfer. Some of the information may need an explanation to help staff understand the implications. We suggest that wherever possible managers, HR advisers or trade union representatives talk through the guide with individuals as this will add real value to the information provided.

The SPF secretariat will aim to keep this guide up to date to reflect legal practice and policy and will amend it as new information is confirmed. The SPF staff transfer guide applies to NHS staff working in England only. It aims to consolidate in one place the standards and rights that staff can expect when they transfer, and after the point of transfer. It is meant as a guide to facilitate further discussion with local employers and/or trade union representatives on individual circumstances. The guide signposts and brings together existing information on employment standards, legislation, policy and guidance but every transfer situation should be the subject of formal consultation involving the affected staff, employers and trade unions or other representatives of affected staff.