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CONTRACTORS SEEK SUZEN CLARIFICATION

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The Public Contractors Association is to seek a meeting with the new minister for Europe, Doug Henderson, to discus...
The Public Contractors Association is to seek a meeting with the new minister for Europe, Doug Henderson, to discuss the controversial Suzen case.

The association, which represents firms engaged in CCT deals with local authorities, fears the European Court of Justice's ruling in the case casts extreme doubt over the application of TUPE in public service contracts (LGC, 14 March).

Despite previous opposition to TUPE, contractors are now worried that if the rules no longer apply they will be saddled with huge liabilities as rival firms are able to undercut them by bearing down on labour costs. PCA secretary Cliff Davis-Coleman said the case centred on 'interference by the European court'.

His association has been sceptical of Labour's commitment to abolish CCT and replace it with a system based on best value.

Mr Davis-Coleman said of the private sector's reaction to Labour's landslide: 'No-one's booked a ticket to Bermuda. But the big worry is that Labour has taken 18 years to get here and we still haven't seen any detail on their plans for contracting. It's the uncertainty that concerns us.

'This doesn't help the private sector or local authorities. As soon as there is something tangible, the market can settle down again.'

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