Retention of Employment is an interesting employment model which not many people know about. It was designed to bring about a win-win scenario for public bodies entering in to Joint Venture (JV) arrangements with private sector organisations.
Under this model, the staff are seconded on a long-term basis to the JV, and therefore, ultimate accountability for the staff’s terms and conditions remain with the pubic sector body. This has a number of benefits for staff including the ability to retain their public sector pension arrangements; this is important for all parties, as frequently the cost of bulk pension transfers prohibit any further commercial negotations with the Joint Venture.
The (previous) Government ceased the operation of this arrangement, and I think that this was a mistake. Although recognising that on average it can take up to two years from the initial tender to “Go-Live” for a Joint Venture, down-stream significant savings alongside income generation can be made from such organisations.
We are in an era where all public organisations are looking to save money. The loss of a concept such as Retention of Employment (R0E) means that Trust have one less traditional option when trying to avoid redundancies. Admittedly, the timescales attached to Joint Ventures may not be attractive to Trusts looking to make cost reductions (yesterday).
So instead, Trusts are now looking to find alternative methods to manage through these rocky times. I’m hoping that we are going to see some creative cost-saving options, similar to the concepts tried and tested in the private sector 2 years ago. But that’s for another post….