Thinking of outsourcing cleaning or catering?
One of the most commonly occurring issues we deal with is TUPE, and specifically pension issues arising from plans to outsource catering, cleaning or similar services.
Pensions and TUPE
Many schools are not aware of the Fair Deal that applies to academies and maintained schools in the UK. This, in essence requires the new provider of the service to apply for what it terms “admitted body status” of the Local Government Pension Scheme which enables continuity of pension provision to support staff subject to TUPE. Gaining admitted body status requires you, as the school, to enter into an agreement between 3 parties (the school, the new service provider and the LGPS). This brings with it potential liabilities for the school within this standard agreement and you should explore appropriate insurance cover for these.
If you are thinking about outsourcing, make sure you include information about this requirement in any tendering documentation so that prospective service providers price accordingly.
TUPE in general
Remember it is important that you as the current employer, consults staff who would be affected by any proposed out-sourcing on BOTH:
The proposed outsourcing itself; AND
All and any special measures that would apply following transfer (this includes any structural or other changes the new provider would propose to implement on the grounds permitted under TUPE, commonly known as ETO grounds (economic, technical or organisational).
We can add most value if you enrol us at the beginning of your outsourcing journey rather than a few days before the proposed TUPE transfer!
Failure to properly consult can result in a hefty fine at the employment tribunal, it is important to get it right; in essence there should be no surprises for the employee following transfer.