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Statutory Guidance to Local Authorities on Contracting

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.