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BSA signs the Public Services Forum agreement

28 March 2008

The BSA (Business Services Association) is one of only two private sector organisations invited to sit on the PSF. The BSA signed the agreement in early March after being involved in negotiations with the Cabinet Office, the CBI and the trade unions over the rights of employees working in the public sector.

The agreement includes a commitment to enhance employees' rights within the existing legal framework through guidance. Government departments will receive guidance on how to achieve social objectives through procurement. The agreement will also promote employees’ access to basic skills and training through the Government funded ‘Train to Gain’ scheme and would like private suppliers to identify and plan to meet the basic skills needs of all affected employees when tendering for Government contracts.

The Forum discussed employees’ access to trade unions. Government organisations commissioning and monitoring contracts for services will encourage service providers to provide information regarding individual rights in relation to trade union membership or non-membership and to communicate this information to their employees in an appropriate manner. The agreement included employees’ access to advice on their rights.

The agreement said suppliers working on Government contracts should, in addition to the standard legal requirement to provide information about contractual terms and conditions of employment and rights, take active steps to enable employees to access basic advice about their working lives and rights at work. The emphasis should be on enabling and signposting access to advice, rather than providing personal or prescriptive advice.


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