Outsourcing – your rights

08 Jul 2019

Ahead of the PCS-TUCG rally against privatisation of public services in London next week (17 July) we look at what you should do if your job is affected by a service being privatised or outsourced

Your first step if you are affected by privatisation is to contact your PCS branch rep or your regional office. It’s important to know that you have legal rights.

When an organisation or service moves to a new employer, employees’ rights are usually protected by a law known as TUPE [Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)]. Workers should transfer over with their terms and conditions intact, including pay, leave, hours, length of service, access to trade unions and more.

TUPE doesn’t apply in the public sector but there are similar, enforceable, Cabinet Office codes which also extend these rights to pensions.

The Cabinet Office Statement of Practice ‘Staff Transfers in the Public Sector’ (COSOP) sets out how the government expects public sector staff to be treated, as a matter of policy, when their work is transferred within the public sector, or from the public sector to the private. It makes it clear that TUPE-type protections are to be applied comprehensively.

The joint rally with the Trade Union Coordinating Group runs from 6-8pm on 17 July in the Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, and will be chaired by PCS President Fran Heathcote, with speakers including:

  • Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary
  • Ian Lawrence, Napo General Secretary
  • Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary
  • Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, shadow secretary of state for BEIS
  • John McDonnell MP, shadow chancellor
  • Strikers from PCS BEIS, FCO and HMRC disputes.

The rally is open to all but please allow 15 minutes to clear security.

If you are interested in attending, email londonse@pcs.org.uk with your name and PCS branch to register your interest as soon as possible. There is likely to be a limit on attendees and we will confirm your attendance nearer the time. Any travel and subsistence will need to be met from branch funds.

A version of this article first appeared in PCS People, issue 2, 2019.

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