Our Commitment

We are committed to ensuring that it procurement activities reflect the Council's approach to equality and fulfil the Council's duty of 'Best Value'.

Our aims and objectives

We aim to fulfil the above stated objectives by:

  • Promoting equality and fairness through its procurement processes and practices
  • Striving to ensure equal opportunities for all, when procuring goods, works or services
  • Purchasing works and services from contractors who can demonstrate a commitment to making sure that their employees and their customers are not discriminated against because of age, sex or sexuality as well as race, colour, ethnic origin or religion
  • Aiming to secure fair employment terms and condition for comparable employees when purchasing certain works or services
  • Encouraging and promoting on a case by case basis that all employees of contractors and sub-contractors working on qualifying service contracts be paid the Preston Living Wage
  • Securing compliance with our duty to provide works and services that demonstrate Best Value, whilst ensuring that our policies support diversity and do not lead to unfair discrimination or social exclusion
  • Recognising the connection between service quality and the management of workforce issues. Good quality works/services depend on appropriately skilled and motivated workforces. Neglecting relevant workforce matters in order to drive down costs could have adverse effects on the desired quality and value for money
  • Undertaking transparent, open and fair procurement

Procurement

We will encourage and promote on a case by case basis all employees of contractors and sub-contractors working on a qualifying Council contract (as set out below) to be on fair employment terms and conditions in line with good practice.

In these circumstances we will ask potential contractors the extent to which they will be prepared to adopt fair employment measures for any work they do as part of a Council contract.

On a case by case basis, we will consider how it exercises its value for money judgement in its contractual arrangements. A typical fair employment clause which may be inserted into a qualifying contract post the value for money judgement may be as follows:

(a) 'Each employee of the contractor who is at any time engaged in (the contract of work) shall be employed by the contractor at that time on terms and conditions of service which are then considered as a whole, no less favourable to that employee, than the terms and conditions of service which the Council would at that time afford an employee (employed in equivalent work, or of equivalent seniority)'.

(b) For the purposes of a) the phrase terms and conditions of service shall include but shall not be limited to, all provisions relating to salary, benefits, entitlements, hours of work, holiday rights and pension rights'.

The qualifying contracts are:

Service Contracts

A service contract is where the Council engages a person or a body to provide it with a service, for example, cleaning services, catering services.

A qualifying service contract will involve an employee of the contractor being on the Council's premises or in contact with its staff for two or more hours per week for twelve or more consecutive weeks in the year and there must be evidence of equivalent employees for the purposes of comparison.

Work Contract

A Works Contract is usually one where the Council procures a contractor to carry out work on its behalf as opposed to services. For example, we may contract with a contractor to build a sports pavilion or a Guild Hall.

A qualifying works contract is:

  • The contract shall be a single contract and exceed £200k (in total) (and not be a one-off)

or

  • A contract exceeding £200k (in total) and of 12 months or more in duration (such contract may be a one-off)

and

  • In both cases there must be evidence of equivalent employees for the purposes of comparison.

European Tendering Considerations

Where the Council is lawfully entitled to consider a 'non-commercial' matter in its procurement processes, i.e. the terms and conditions of employment by contractors of their workers, the Council will ensure that this does not conflict with its duties under the European law of the need to ensure transparency, openness and non-discrimination.

Responsibility

All Executive Members will be advised of qualifying contracts in their area of responsibility in advance of procurement.

In the event that the policy is not to apply to a qualifying contract authority will be sought from Cabinet in advance of any contract award with relevant justifications.

Policy Review

This Policy will be reviewed bi-annually by the Executive Member for Resources.

Monitoring of the policy as required in individual situations will be the responsibility of the individual contract manager and the decision making body.