Could times be changing for “Outsourced Employees”

A recent report has confirmed that 75 individuals, with roles such as receptionists and porters, will be going to Tribunal in an attempt to gain more rights at work.

The individuals (who are considered ‘outsourced employees’) are supplied to the University of London by external facilities company, Cordant. However, whilst their roles and responsibilities are similar to those directly employed by the University, the outsourced employees do not receive the same benefits as these individuals.

As a result of the nature of the tripartite working relationship between the University, the facilities company and the staff, the University has so far rejected claims that it should be named in proceedings as a joint employer, which would result in better entitlements for the individuals involved.

However, the 75 individuals have now openly begun their campaign (with the help of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain) seeking a tribunal ruling that the University is recognised alongside Cordant, as their joint employer.

Whilst the concept of an outsourced employer began in the United States and has subsequently taken various forms, it is now estimated that there are 3.3 million individuals falling within this category in the UK.

Therefore, if the individuals are successful in their campaign, this matter could have a significant impact on UK employment law, which to date has never recognised the notion of joint employers for the purpose of negotiating workers’ terms and conditions. 

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    About the author

    Jayme NicholsonPartner and Head of Employment

    Jayme is a Partner and Head of our Employment team

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