Barnet Council to bring 330 staff back in house after ten year Capita 'experiment'

Barnet Council brings 330 staff back in house after ten year Capita 'experiment'

330 Staff at Barnet Council, currently employed by Capita, are due to be transferred back to council employment after the council was used as a test case for the outsourcing of local government services.

The staff, who work under a joint venture called ‘Capita Re’ in a variety of areas like trading standards, environmental health, planning highways and other regulatory services, will be transferred back in house on 1 April this year.

In 2012, much of the service provision at the council was outsourced to Capita on decade-long contracts by the Conservative-controlled council. This period was marred by several controversies including a multi-million-pound fraud and contracts running vastly over budget.

In May last year, Labour won control of the council which has fast-tracked plans by six months to bring some services back in house.

Barnet’s UNISON branch has campaigned for services to be brought back in-house since the contracts were initially handed to Capita. There have already been major in-sourcing successes at the council.

John Burgess, UNISON local government branch secretary, said:

“This is good news for staff, good news for residents and good news for the services. I welcome the decision and look forward to welcoming back all the services back into Barnet Council where they all belong.

“For a decade, our branch has campaigned for local government services at Barnet to be brought back in-house and, while we are happy that this latest has been fast tracked, there are still many issues to address for our members who are being TUPE’d.

“These include workplace inequalities such as staff being paid differently for the same role. Barnet UNISON is already seeking discussions with the council about harmonisation of the terms and conditions of the TUPE’d workforce.

“During the worst cost of living crisis in 75 years it is imperative that our branch does it best to look after the interests of our members transferring back into the council.”

A TUPE - Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) - transfer happens when an organisation, or part of it, is transferred from one employer to another, or when a service is transferred to a new provider.

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