Fri 13 Jan 2023

Government to introduce new laws setting minimum service levels during strike action

Government to introduce new laws setting minimum service levels during strike action

Earlier this week the Government introduced the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill to Parliament.

This Bill, if approved by Parliament and enacted, will allow the Secretary of State to set minimum service levels during strike action in a number of sectors. The Government will first consult on minimum service levels for fire, ambulance, and rail services but the full list of sectors covered by the Bill includes:

  • health services
  • education services
  • fire and rescue services
  • transport services
  • decommissioning of nuclear installations and management of radioactive waste and spent fuel
  • border security

A press release from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial strategy notes that the Government hopes that parties in these sectors will come to voluntary agreements on minimum service levels during strike action to maintain an acceptable level of service and that these powers would not have to be used. However, the Bill will allow the Government to intervene and set minimum service levels if they deem it necessary.

The impact of this Bill also means that unions who fail to comply with the obligations set out in the proposed legislation, will lose legal protection from damages under S.219 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

For more information or for specific advice in relation to trade union relations or strike action, please contact our specialist employment law team.

This article was co-written by Carla Mitchell, Trainee Solicitor. 

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