The Scottish Ministers have issued guidance to local authorities under section 52 of the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003 on contracting. Local authorities are under a duty to have regard to it in exercising a power to enter into a contract.
This statutory guidance applies to Scottish local authorities, Joint Fire and Rescue Boards and joint police boards. It provides guidance on the treatment of employment issues when entering into a contract. It focuses on measures to avoid the emergence of a two-tier workforce and, also encourages consultation with the trade unions as soon as there is a possibility of staff transfers to a new service provider.
The guidance relates to any proposal that has the 'potential' to include a staff transfer from a local authority. In addition the phrase 'change of service provider' can also incorporate services that are already outsourced but have been awarded to a new supplier. A typical example of this might be services provided by the voluntary sector under a contract with the local authority. It can also cover contracts awarded by public bodies which are not local authorities if the contract still involves the transfer of local authority staff.