When the Government withdrew the Code of Practice in Workforce Matters in Public Sector Service Contracts it replaced this with the The Cabinet Office Principles of Good Employment Practice which set out voluntary principles of good practice. These are set out below but may also be accessed by clicking here.
PRINCIPLES OF GOOD EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE
A statement of principles that reflect good employment practice for Government, Contracting Authorities and Suppliers
PRINCIPLES OF GOOD EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE FOR GOVERNMENT, CONTRACTING AUTHORITIES AND SUPPLIERS
The Coalition Government has committed to opening up government procurement and reducing costs. It has also set itself the aspiration that 25% of government contracts should be awarded to small and medium-sized businesses.
Government understands that value for money means securing the best mix of quality and effectiveness for the least outlay. This applies to the whole lifetime of goods or services from purchase through to disposal.
In support of its aspirations, Government has developed a statement of principles of good employment practice that will form part of good practice literature and be shared with contracting authorities and suppliers.
employers of all sizes and from all sectors to have the freedom and flexibility to motivate and reward their workforce, to meet business needs.
public, private, voluntary and community organisations to learn from each other and share best practice in the spirit of continuous improvement.
employers to be aware of the best practice that fosters employee engagement, access to skills and development whilst securing quality outcomes in the provision of public services;
This document is a statement of principles that reflect good employment practice. These principles are supported by Government and are voluntary.
1. Government as a good client
i. Through its commissioning, procurement standards and processes, central Government should encourage contracting authorities and suppliers to promote good workforce practices in the delivery of public services. Government will ensure that the workforce practices of the supplier are considered throughout the procurement process, where appropriate.
ii. Government will use outcome-based commissioning wherever possible; this is instead of prescribing how services are to be delivered. Using outcome-based commissioning will encourage more innovative approaches to the delivery of public services.
2. Training and skills
i. In letting and managing public contracts, the procurement process of contracting organisations will recognise the importance of basic skills such as literacy, numeracy and spoken english where these skills are relevant. These skills are often required in the delivery of public services, and enable the workforce to provide better quality services, particularly those in customer facing roles.
ii. Suppliers will be able to demonstrate that staff have appropriate training, qualifications and access to continuing professional development as befits their role; and that staff are supported to develop their skills and grow their experience in line with any future roles that maybe expected of them.
iii. Where there is a recognised trade union, suppliers will consult on workforce training and development issues.
3. A commitment to fair and reasonable terms and conditions
i. Where a supplier employs new entrants that sit alongside former public sector workers, new entrants should have fair and reasonable pay, terms and conditions. Suppliers should consult with their recognised trade unions on the terms and conditions to be offered to new entrants.
i. Contracting organisations will ensure that supplier policies and processes are entirely consistent with the responsibilities they have as employers under the Equality Act 2010. Government will ensure it delegates relevant legal obligations when suppliers are carrying out public functions.
ii. Government expects that suppliers will be able to demonstrate how working practices support their responsibilities as good employers.
5. Dispute resolution
i. All suppliers delivering public services should have regard to good industrial relations practice on dispute resolution. This includes treating employees fairly and ensuring compliance with the law on trade union membership.
ii. Suppliers will ensure that where there is a dispute, employees are aware of and have access to clear processes for dispute resolution. Government expects suppliers to consider the services of ACAS as an option that is explored when disputes have not been resolved by internal support systems and processes.
iii. Where an employee has a right to be represented by a trade union, the employer will work with the employee and recognised trade union representative in resolving any dispute.
6. Employee engagement
i. The themes identified in Drive for Change place leadership, the design and delivery of service improvements, communications and a framework for staff engagement as vital components in ensuring and enhancing employee engagement.
ii. The MacLeod Review on employee engagement cited evidence of a positive correlation between an engaged workforce and improving performance. Building on the findings of the review, Government will encourage contractors to develop effective staff engagement strategies that enable people to be the best they can be at work.
iii. Government recognises the premise that engagement between employee, employer and a recognised trade union where appropriate can be a key to unlocking productivity and creating a motivated workforce that feels respected, involved, heard, is well led and valued by those they work for and with.
The impact of these principles on employment practice will be reviewed by the Public Services Forum in January 2012. The Forum will assess how the principles contribute to good employment practices in the delivery of contracted out services.