Serco was founded in 1929 as RCA Services Limited. It changed its name to Serco in 1987. Its main business is privatized government services in the sectors of health, transport, justice, immigration, space, defence and citizens services. In addition Serco also runs six prisons, an immigration removal centre and the sleeper train from London to Scotland in the UK.

In 2013 the company was accused of defrauding the British government in their electronic tagging (of offenders) contract. The company was fined, and two managers were prosecuted. Serco was fined £23 million after claims it had charged the government for electronically monitoring people who were either dead, in jail, or had left the country. Serco has also paid the ministry of Justice £70 million in a civil settlement.

In 2020, the UK government came under fire for awarding a no-bid £57 million contract to Serco run COVID testing centers in the UK.



Security services, security technology, cash-in-transit services, guarding, risk management, assessment and consulting, custody, detention, rehabilitation and care services.





employment-related offenses



safety-related offenses



(December 1, 2022) 

Number of Records
Total Penalties
$4,268,782 (December 1, 2022)
Individual Records & Summaries
Click here for violation data on Serco.
Information in this section is drawn from the Violation Tracker database produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on business violations of laws and regulations in the United States. For specific examples of misconduct, please click on the links.


Article Archive

Serco problems in Eden

Published by
Inside Times

“Fight clubs. Illicit drug use. Lockdowns. An organisation out of control.” These are just some of the allegations made about Serco-operated Mount Eden Prison in New Zealand. (John O’Connor writes).

Read more
Videos & Podcasts
Inside Serco: The company housing England's asylum seekers - BBC Newsnight
Who Are Serco, The Private Company That Runs Britain?






Other Key Sources
  • Business and Human Rights Resources Centre's profile on Serco - UK-based Business and Human Rights Resource Centre is an NGO that employs researchers on five continents who work with activists, companies and governments alike to advance human rights in business by eradicating abuse.
  • We Own It's profile on Serco - We Own It is a UK-based NGO that campaigns against privatization and for the public ownership of services like energy, health, schools and water.


Recent & Ongoing Campaigns
Stop Serco! Resist privatisation!

STOP SERCO, RESIST PRIVATISATION is a campaign focused on the rampant privatisation of the asylum sector and the effects this is having on migrants within the system- as well as looking at wider issues of asylum and privatisation.

Campaign Against Serco Caledonian Sleeper

Bring Back British Rail 

The newly created Caledonian Sleeper franchise encompasses sleeper services between London and Scottish destinations and is intended to last fifteen years. It was awarded to the much-derided outsourcing company, Serco, who also operate Merseyrail in a joint venture with Abellio.

Serco must go!


​This page contains information and updates on RAPAR's ongoing campaign to address human rights violations in SERCO-run accommodation in Greater Manchester.


NHS For Sale 

Serco is one of the world’s largest outsourcing companies, employing over 50,000 people and operating across four geographies: UK & Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

GMB waste strike hits Windsor over pay row with Serco

MRW | Mark Smulian | August 22, 2022 

Refuse collectors in the GMB union are to go on indefinite strike from 31 August in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, which includes Windsor Castle.

UK: Outsourced NHS support staff strike over pay as negotiations between union and Serco fail

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre | September 11, 2020 

Support staff employed by outsourcing firm Serco to work across Barts Health NHS hospitals went on strike after negotiations for better pay failed. The workers, represented by Unite, requested a 30p per hour pay rise which was rejected.

Not a penny more to Serco - Give local, public teams the cash!

We Own It | August 12, 2020 

The government must give the £528 million allocated for these contract extension to local authorities and Public Health England teams instead. Privatised track and trace has been a disaster that is costing lives.

The Barts Health Victory Is a Blow to the Outsourcing Agenda

Tribune Magazine | Basit Mahmood | March 20, 2020 

This month, workers who were outsourced to Serco won a spectacular victory ensuring 1,800 staff would be brought in-house on NHS contracts – a blow to the outsourcing agenda across the economy.

Serco: rewarding failure?

The Justice Gap | Alice Troy-Donovan | February 25, 2020

Last Thursday the international FTSE 250 company Serco was awarded a £200 million contract by the Home Office to manage two immigration removal centres despite years of abuse and fraud-related scandals associated with the company.

Serco slammed for plans to attend arms fair while evicting asylum seekers

The Ferret | Billy Briggs | August 20, 2019

A private firm evicting hundreds of asylum seekers from their homes in Scotland’s largest city has been condemned over its plans to exhibit at a controversial arms trade show.

Major Investigations
High Court Refuses to Extend Interim Injunctions Stopping Hotels from Accommodating Asylum Seekers

Local Government Lawyer | November 14, 2022 

A High Court judge has refused to extend 'without notice' interim injunctions obtained by Ipswich Borough Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council that blocked the accommodation of asylum seekers in local hotels.

Various Claimants v Serco Group PLC

Casemine | July 27, 2022 

This is a case management decision made at the first CMC of two sets of claims issues in 2019 and 2021 respectively, under section 90A of and Schedule 10A to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.    

The Department for Work and Pensions: Deaths, cover-up, and a toxic 30-year legacy

Disability News Service | John Pring | March 27, 2022 

Evidence stretching back more than a decade shows how the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) repeatedly ignored recommendations to improve the safety of its disability benefits assessment system, leading to countless avoidable deaths of disabled claimants.

Derbyshire Dales & Serco

Waste Management Contract Independent Review | Allen Graham | 2022 

Following an approach by the Local Government Association and submission of a written proposal, Derbyshire Dales District Council commissioned Circling Squares Ltd to conduct an independent review regarding the history, actions, approach and recovery plan adopted following severe service disruption experienced by the residents of Derbyshire Dales District Council in relation to the domestic waste and recycling services.

Privatised and Unprepared: The NHS Supply Chain

We Own It | Prof David Hall, Dr John Lister, Cat Hobbs, Pascale Robinson and Chris Jarvis | 2022

Months after the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, huge numbers of UK health and care workers still lack adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). This is affecting many professions: doctors, nurses, hospital support staff, administrators, mental health workers in the community and primary care, and social care workers in a variety of roles.

US Department of Labor, Serco Inc. Agree to Resolve Alleged Compensation Discrimination Identified against Female Workers

US Department of Labor | Joanna Hawkins | October 7, 2021 

A federal contractor in Herndon that provides professional, technology and management services has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to resolve allegations that the company paid female information technology professionals less than the company paid their male counterparts.

I was fired for telling ICO of Serco track and trace data breach, claims sacked worker

The Register | Gareth Corfield | June 28, 2021 

A British coronavirus contact tracer who has said she was sacked from Serco for blowing the whistle on a data breach had part of her legal case thrown out because she was working for a mini umbrella company and not Serco itself, a judge has ruled.

Serco Reaches $1.2 Million Settlement in Excessive Fee Class Action Suit

Plansponsor | Lee Barney | June 7, 2021 

The suit had charged the Navy defense contractor with selecting mutual funds with an average expense ratio of 0.81% when funds costing 0.41% were available.

Administration of prisoner's medication by prison contractor 

New Zealand Doctor | October 5, 2020

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Kevin Allan today released a report finding a private prison operator, Serco New Zealand Limited (Serco) in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code) for failing to provide a prisoner with his regular medications.

UK: Campaigners criticise ruling that held Serco’s eviction of refused asylum seekers lawful, expressing concern over outsourcing of human rights obligations

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre | September 24, 2020 

In November 2019, the Edinburgh court of sessions upheld a decision that held Serco’s policy of changing the locks on the homes of refused asylum seekers was not in contravention of Scottish housing law or human rights legislation. This was later upheld by the UK Supreme Court.

Sergio V. Bernal v. Serco, Inc. et al

Unicourt | August 27, 2020 

Sergio filed a Civil Right - Employment Discrimination lawsuit against Bernal. This case was filed in U.S. District Courts, California Central District. The case status is Disposed - Other Disposed. 

‘Deep disappointment’ as Supreme Court refuses appeal in Serco case

Scottish Housing News | April 7, 2020 

Home Office asylum accommodation provider Serco can legally carry out lock-changes evictions on refused refugees in Glasgow after an appeal case was rejected by the UK Supreme Court.

Woman cleared of assaulting Yarl's Wood guards during struggle

The Guardian | Diane Taylor | February 11, 2020 

A Nigerian rape survivor who was under constant supervision at an immigration detention centre because she was at high risk of self-harm has been cleared of assaulting four guards who restrained her and tried to force her on to a charter flight.

SFO charges former Serco directors with fraud

Serious Fraud Office | December 16, 2019 

The Serious Fraud Office has charged two individuals with fraud and false accounting in relation to its investigation into Serco’s electronic monitoring contract with the Ministry of Justice.

Manatt Secures Victory for L-3 Technologies in Serco Defense Subcontract Dispute

Manatt | June 11, 2019 

L-3’s 2015 lawsuit alleged that Serco helped then-L-3 Services employees steal trade secrets and form a new business, Jaxon Engineering & Maintenance, and engaged in a “bid-rigging scheme” to direct its high-altitude electromagnetic pulse testing and maintenance-related work to Jaxon beginning.

Primov v. Serco, Inc.

Casetext | July 19, 2017 

This case arises out of an employment agreement. George Primov ("Plaintiff") is a former employee of Serco Incorporated, a U.S. military contractor ("Defendant"). 

Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons | April 13 – May 1, 2015

Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire held 354 detainees at the time of this inspection. Most of those held were single women but the centre also held a small number of adult families and there was a short-term holding facility for single men.

Brian Dalrymple Inquest Day 4: Serco on the Stand

Corporate Watch | Migration News | June 20, 2014 

At West London Coroner’s Court yesterday, the inquest into the death of Brian Dalrymple, an American tourist suffering from schizophrenia, heard about the last days of his life, spent in a segregation cell of a commercially-run British detention centre.

Serco slapped with $200 million lawsuit from L-3 Communications

Washington Business Journal | Randy White | June 3, 2014 

Serco Inc. has been slapped with a $200 million lawsuit, charged by L-3 Communications with conspiring with former L-3 employees who allegedly stole proprietary information to form their own contracting startup.

Serco facing inquiry over claims of sexual assaults at Yarl's Wood detention centre

The Independent | William McLennan | May 18, 2014 

Outsourcing giant Serco is to be investigated by MPs after it was forced to publish an internal report into claims of repeated sexual assaults at one of its immigration detention centres.

Serco, the Observer, and a hunt for the truth about Yarl's Wood asylum centre

The Observer | Mark Townsend | May 17, 2014 

Efforts to investigate repeated claims of sexual abuse by staff at the asylum centre met with resistance and led to a private company calling in reputation lawyers. After a legal battle, this paper has received a copy of an internal inquiry – but many questions remain unanswered.

Serco and Pathology: The Cost of Profit

Corporate Watch | July 29, 2013 

Serco was pleased to announce this month that GSTS Pathology – its joint venture with two London hospitals – was back in profit. But newly-released accounts show that, even after lab closures and accusations of cutting corners, GSTS is not yet the success story its owners like to suggest.

Employment Practices
& Relations
Serco injected £60m to prop up pension fund after market meltdown

The Guardian | Kalyeena Makortoff | September 30, 2022 

The pension scheme trustees at the government contractor Serco have been forced to tap the company for £60m of emergency support after the UK’s financial markets meltdown this week.

GMB Consultative Ballot - Serco PECS4 2022 Pay Offer 

GMB | April 26, 2022 

GMB members voted 57% v 43% to reject the offer, and Community members voted 80% v 20% to accept the offer, so we have been unable to reach agreement on pay for 2022.

Serco outsourced workers at Barts postpone industrial action to enable further negotiations

Unite the Union | February 28, 2022 

Hundreds of key NHS workers, employed by the giant outsourcing company Serco at Barts  Health NHS Trust have postponed industrial action for a week to enable negotiations to continue. The strike  was due to begin today (Monday 28 February). 

UK: Serco refuse workers strike over pay disparity, bullying claims, and health & safety

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre | September 2, 2021

Refuse workers based in Oldbury, UK have taken part in industrial action over pay disparity, bullying claims, and health and safety disputes. 

I was fired for telling ICO of Serco track and trace data breach, claims sacked worker

The Register | June 28, 2021 

A British coronavirus contact tracer who has said she was sacked from Serco for blowing the whistle on a data breach had part of her legal case thrown out because she was working for a mini umbrella company and not Serco itself, a judge has ruled.

Serco reveals huge profits despite test and trace failures

Socialist Worker | February 25, 2021 

Serco, probably Britain’s most hated firm, has been coining it in during the pandemic. In fact, it’s made so much money that it now plans a handout to shareholders.

Serco a high-risk client with history of failures, offshore law firm found

The Guardian | Christopher Knaus | November 6, 2017 

Appleby, at centre of Paradise Papers leak, ran risk assessment before agreeing to help firm set up holding company in Mauritius.

Serco announces job cuts a month after taking over from NHS Suffolk

BBC News | November 1, 2012 

A private company which last month took over the running of community healthcare from NHS Suffolk is to cut 137 health jobs.


Corporate Headquarters
16 Bartley Wood Business Park, Bartley Way, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9UY
Most Recent Gross Revenue
US$4.803 billion (2020) | source
Most Recent Net Revenue
US$221.6 million (2020) | source
Stock Exchange Tickers
Major Shareholders

Click here for the latest list.

Political Influence

Open Secrets - Tracks corporate lobbying of US politicians.

Open Secrets Logo Profile of Serco

Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker is a project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on state and federal subsidies in the United States. For more details, click on the links.
Click here for details of subsidies received by Serco
Tax Havens
& Evasion
'Hypocrisy': Ministers under fire as CalMac uses P&O tax dodge to save £46m

The Herald | Martin Williams | March 26, 2022 

The practice of allowing ferry companies to avoid paying National Insurance contributions was brought in to keep them competitive in the face of foreign competition.

Labour accuse Boris Johnson of turning blind eye to tax haven use by public service contractors

The Independent | Andrew Woodcock | October 10, 2021 

Labour’s dossier listed companies including... Serco (£6.8bn in contracts, subsidiaries in Qatar, Bahrain, Guernsey, Jersey and UAE)...

Minimising and managing the risks of labour hire in the public sector

CICTAR | June 21, 2021 

All levels of government in Australia are heavily reliant on labour hire, often from multinational suppliers with complex corporate structures designed to reduce taxes.

Tax dodging concerns over small firms used to pay NHS test-and-trace workers

The Guardian | Jasper Jolly | May 10, 2021 

Many workers employed across the £37bn NHS test-and-trace service are being paid through networks of opaque small companies that experts fear could be defrauding the Treasury via a notorious tax scheme.

Australian Tax Office contractors accused of links to tax havens

The Guardian | Christopher Knaus | December 10, 2018 

Report queries arrangements at Stellar, Serco and Outsourcing Inc, which provide labour or help run ATO call centres. 

Who Opposes Tax Justice?

Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) | Geraldine Alexander | June 2013 

Again as an example, Serco paid £58m less than full corporation tax on its profits during 2004-07.

The tax haven subsidiaries of FTSE companies

Tax Research UK | October 11, 2011 

Action Aid has a new report out this morning detailing the tax haven subsidiaries of FTSE 100 companies, building on work first done here.


Major Projects
Home Office documents reveal scale of ‘inadequate’ asylum services

Inews | Ben Gartside | October 31, 2022

The Home Office has rated several of its outsourced critical services for asylum seekers as “inadequate”, Government records show. 

Ministerial decision on Serco Caledonian Sleeper contract

Transport Scotland | October 5, 2022 

Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth has today confirmed that a decision has been made in respect of the Serco Caledonian Sleeper contract.

Serco Team to Enter 2nd Phase of DARPA’s Unmanned Surface Vessel Project

GovConWire | Christine Thropp | August 23, 2022 

Serco Group's U.S. subsidiary and industry partners will begin the second leg of an unmanned surface vessel development and demonstration program spearheaded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

LiveHire achieves record quarter, collars major contract with SERCO Australia

Smallcaps | Lorna Nicholas | April 14, 2022 

Following a record March 2022 quarter (Q3 FY2022), global software as a service (SaaS) developer LiveHire (ASX:LVH) has collared a contract with SERCO Australia.

UK: Government awards Serco £200 million immigration removal centre contract despite previous allegations of sexual assaults

Business and Human Rights Resource Center | September 24, 2020 

In February 2020, the Home Office awarded Serco a £200 million contract to run the Brook House and Tinsley House immigration removal centres, in addition to the Yarl’s Wood detention centre it currently runs. This move has sparked anger as Serco has previously been accused of abuse and sexual assault.

Revealed: Serco under fire over fresh £90m COVID-19 contract

Open Democracy | Peter Geoghegan | May 28, 2020 

Firm in charge of England’s ‘track and trace’ now responsible for supporting vulnerable people during the pandemic. MPs and campaigners say the decision is ‘outrageous’.

Private contractors paid millions to run UK detention centres

The Guardian | Niamh McIntyre | October 10, 2018 

Figures reveal some firms may be making up to 30% profit on Home Office contracts. 



Serco awarded Typhoon aircraft test capability contracts

UK Defence Journal | George Allison | October 10, 2022 

Serco has been awarded two new contracts to supply Serco-designed 'General Purpose Support Equipment' to the Royal Air Force and the Spanish Air Force.

Serco buys Swiss-based immigration services firm ORS for GBP39 million

Morningstar | Alliance News | September 1, 2022 

Serco Group PLC on Thursday said it bought Swiss-based immigration services company ORS Group for up to CHF44 million, around GBP39 million.

Serco Secures $334M SHAPM Services Contract From Naval Sea Systems Command

Executivebiz | William Mcormick | June 2, 2022 

Serco Inc. announced on Thursday that the company has been awarded a potential five-year, $334 million Shipbuilding Acquisition Program Management (SHAPM) Services contract by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Team Submarine (TEAM SUB).

Serco lands another £45m for ‘failing’ COVID Test and Trace scheme

Open Democracy | Catherine Molloy | September 17, 2020 

Revealed: Controversial firm has won previously unreported coronavirus testing contract – while critics label its £108m call centre deal ‘astonishing’ and ‘unethical’.

Serco awarded contract to run Gatwick immigration removal centres

UK Government | Home Office | February 20, 2020 

Home Office announces new contractor to run Brook House and Tinsley House.

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