The outsourcing of public services provision to private providers has a detrimental impact on the workforce and a knock-on effect on the quality of care, says a new TUC report.
The research, conducted by the New Economics Foundation on behalf of the TUC, looked at the scale and scope of outsourcing in five key sectors – social care, health care, offender management, local government and employment services. The report also examined the effects of outsourcing on staff working in a variety of public service jobs, such as care workers, nurses, prison officers and security guards.
The TUC findings show that compared with public service employees, workers in privatised services are more likely to work longer hours, receive less pay and be on insecure or temporary contracts. Some key figures broken down by job-type are:
- Security guards are more than twelve times more likely to regularly work longer hours (more than 48 hours per week) if they are employed by a private company rather than the public sector.
- The hourly wage for a private prison officer is more than £4 less than an equivalent public sector employee.
- Residential care workers employed by the public sector typically stay in post more than three times longer than private sector workers.
Low pay and poor working conditions in the private sector can affect the commitment and the motivation of employees and have repercussions on the quality of service provided.
For more information and a breakdown of the statistics see the full press release at https://www.tuc.org.uk/node/122318