Edited to hide my identity a bit better.
I'm not sure. I don't think the new owners would be automatically required to keep you on but your current boss could make it a condition of the sale. I would approach him and ask him if there is any truth to the story that he is looking to sell and what are his plans. You need to be kept in the loop.
The new owner would not be legally obliged to keep you on, BUT, if the new owner continues to want it as an opticians they would be mad not to want to keep you on. You have the experience and they wouldn't have to search for staff.
Try not to worry yet. Even if he does want to sell the business, these things can take months, years even, to process.
I'd maybe call your local citizens bureau to find out about your redundancy rights if the business is sold, especially if you've been there 8 years.
This is what i read on C Information, what do ye think??????
Contract of employment
Under the Regulations the new employer is legally obliged to take on the existing employees of the business. The terms and conditions and your employer’s obligations in your contract of employment are automatically transferred to your new employer, except for pensions – see below. If there is a collective agreement your new employer must continue to its terms and conditions until it expires or is replaced.
P45: In some circumstances employees involved in a transfer of business may be given a P45 by their old employer. They should give this to their new employer. For the purposes of redundancy legislation a transfer of business does not break the employees’ continuity of service. Instead it is transferred to their new employment.