Codes of practice

Employment Practice has responsibility for two codes of practice - 'Staff Transfers in the Public Sector' and 'Informing and consulting employees in the Civil Service'.

Last updated - 4th December 2008

Staff Transfers in the Public Sector

The Cabinet Office Statement of Practice on Staff Transfers in the Public Sector 2000 (COSOP) applies to staff who are transferred to the private sector and those who move to different roles within the Civil Service. This document was revised in November 2007 mainly to make reference to the July 2006 TUPE Regulations.

The COSOP sets out policy in relation to transfers, which the Government expects public sector organisations to follow. It protects the rights of public sector staff involved in transfers, ensuring continuity of employment and of terms and conditions. 

Bulk transfers

HM Treasury has published a guidance note on Bulk Transfers.

Please note that we cannot give detailed advice on matters relating to a transfer. Always ensure you have taken suitably qualified legal advice when transferring staff.

Good practice for managing the people consequences of outsourcing and privatisation

This good practice is intended to cover people issues that are not covered by COSOP, however, it adopts one of COSOP’s guiding principles - “ensuring that staff involved in all such transfers are treated fairly and consistently and their rights respected.” It has been agreed with the Council of Civil Service Unions and builds on practices being followed in different parts of the civil service and the wider public sector.

Informing and consulting employees in the Civil Service

The Information and Consultation of Employees regulations establish a right to minimum standards of information and consultation for staff in organisations with 50 or more employees. These standards were published in 2004, and ensure people at work are informed and consulted on developments which may affect them.

Most Civil Service departments and agencies have long-established procedures for informing and consulting employees and their representatives. These have been shaped and developed in recent years and are considered to meet the standards of the code.


If you'd like more information about either of these Codes of Practice, please contact Philip Jones from the Employment team, on 020 7276 1519 or