• International Workplace
  • 27 March 2019

Workplace Law issues legal update on FM outsourcing

Workplace Law, the employee relations division of International Workplace, has issued a white paper on the employment law aspects of outsourcing, in the wake of a high-profile judgment this week that will give some comfort to employers in the facilities management sector.

The white paper – Joint employer status: implications for outsourcing in the FM sector – is the first in a series of publications focusing on employee relations, published by Workplace Law in association with the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) UK chapter. 

Whilst outsourcing is seen as a valuable business tool for organisations, legal restrictions do apply to the service provider, specifically in the form of employment legislation. This detailed white paper, written by Tar Tumber, Director, Employee Relations at Workplace Law, looks at the key issues employers need to be aware of, including TUPE, commercial obligations, and perhaps most importantly, the contractual relationship that exists between an organisation and its workers.

In a case that has hit the headlines this week, the High Court has rejected the argument that outsourced workers should be entitled to negotiate over pay rates and job terms with both their employer and the employer's client.

The case concerns security guards, post room staff and porters employed on contract between the University of London and Cordant Services, with the IWGB union making the case for the university being seen as their ‘de facto employer’.

Tar Tumber commented on the case:

“This is unlikely to be the last word on the matter as the IWGB are likely to take this case further and are also behind other similar cases involving other organisations. This makes it of great interest to any facilities management service providers or contractors who provide outsourced staff to their clients.”

You can download the white paper here.