<p>This paper analyses the reasons for the United Kingdom's long-delayed response to the European Union’s Acquired Rights Directive. It assesses the British government’s overdue updating of the domestic legislation in 2006 in line with the latest version of the Directive, attributing its dilatory response to a combination of technical legal difficulties and conflicting political objectives. The paper concentrates on the ‘privatisation’ of public services, explaining the most recent protection now available to workers whose jobs are out-sourced to the private or voluntary sector. Member States contemplating reform of their own regulatory regimes may find the British experience instructive.</p
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