The transposing of the 1977 Acquired Rights Directive into UK law has resulted in prolonged uncertainty regarding whether its protection of terms and conditions of employment extends to workers transferred under compulsory competitive tendering (CCT). In this paper we examine briefly the origins and scope of the directive and the development of relevant case law. We then report the results of a survey of employers confirming the existence of widespread confusion over the legal position of transferred employees. We also provide evidence that terms and conditions of employment are commonly being revised following CCT transfers. Concentrating upon the responses of contractors we show that any experience of litigation tends to lead to a less favourable assessment of the overall success of CCT. We conclude by examining both the causes and consequences of the continuing legal confusion associated with CCT transfers and consider the policy implications of our findings.