Headlines: October 8th, 2001

The TUC in Wales is calling on local government to add a ‘fair employment’ clause to contracts with private sector suppliers.The body wants councils in Wales to adopt the measure that is already planned by the Greater London Authority at the behest of Mayor, Ken Livingstone.

The call comes in the Welsh TUC’s official response to new proposals by the National Assembly for Wales setting out how workforce contracts should be handled when Best Value and procurement decisions mean transfer of staff who might once have expected to be public employees to private firms.

Generally, the TUC says the approach taken by the assembly is too cautious, and does not send out a sufficiently clear message about the importance of quality employment in delivering quality service delivery. It says the assembly’s guidance to councils is less clear on this than DETR guidance issued in 1999.

Specifically it calls for a clause inserted into contracts that would ensure outsourcing was not used as a way to drive down employees’ pay and conditions, by protecting entitlements enjoyed at the time of transfer.

The TUC points to legal advice obtained by the GLA that such a clause would not be unlawful.

Link: www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-3810-f0.cfm