New recruits to get ‘comparable’ deal

Public sector union Unison has welcomed the
government’s “breakthrough” proposals to ensure fair treatment of
new recruits working for private companies on local authority

The union said the proposals would stop
private companies from winning contracts by cutting the pay and
conditions of staff and should provide a “welcome protection for
new recruits”.

Announcing the proposals, local government
secretary Stephen Byers said they would prevent good contractors
with high employment standards from being undercut by those willing
to abuse the system.

Under the proposals, a new code of practice
would be drawn up and written into individual contracts obliging
contractors to offer new staff “fair and reasonable terms and
conditions”, broadly comparable to those of transferred

The code would also require contractors to
match employee pension contributions up to a maximum of 6 per cent,
and to recognise the role of trade unions in the contracting out

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said the
union regarded the 6 per cent maximum pension contribution as “a
floor” and would continue to press contractors and local
authorities to admit new staff to the local government’s final
salary scheme.

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