Under TUPE, employees` terms are protected when they are transferred to the private sector. In addition, the 2003 voluntary code of practice on workforce matters in local authority service contracts guarantees that anyone recruited to work in the outsourced business will be on "no less favourable terms" than those workers who were previously in the public sector. The same principles apply to most other public sector service contracts as a result of a further code of practice published in 2005.
The Financial Times reports that Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, is "minded to abolish" the code and plans to address the issue through a working group via the Public Services Forum, which represents unions and outsource employers.
Watch this space!