- Available in: PDF
- Published: September 1, 2014
Contracting out public services in the UK is now well established. Nevertheless it is still a deeply divisive issue and the debate about outsourcing tends to generate more heat than light. What is particularly surprising given the scale and scope of contracting out is how little researched it is, not least in terms of how it affects employees.
This report, commissioned by UNISON, seeks to help bridge that information gap by profiling and evaluating in some detail the impact of contracting out on employee pay, terms and conditionsin five case-study contracts. The findings raise some important issues for politicians, policy makers, and contracting authorities and agencies, some of which should cause deep concern. In particular, the lack of information about terms and conditions, the impact of the cuts on outsourced low-paid workers, and the growth of the two-tier workforce (and the widening gap between them). It also raises wider questions about the impact of outsourcing on the quality of public services and the broader social effects (not least the public cost of failing to pay public-sector workers a decent wage).