Since the first reading in January 2023, there have been discussions by the Government regarding the strikes that have taken place and the proposal of the Minimum Service Level Bill.
Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill - Overview
If passed, the Minimum Service Level Bill will allow the Government to make laws setting out the minimum service required in certain sectors during strikes.
The bill has cleared in the House of Commons and is currently under review in the House of Lords.
Unions and workers in the sectors would face losing protection against dismissal if they do not comply with the passed Bill.
What would happen if passed?
The Bill would grant the Secretary of State authority make “minimum service regulations” which could set minimum service levels required during strikes in any services within six sectors:
· Health Services
· Fire and Rescue Services
· Education Services
· Transport Services
· Decommissioning Of Nuclear Installations and Management of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel
· Border Security
The bill will allow employers to serve a “work notice” to unions concerning any strike affecting a service subject to minimum service regulations. A work notice will specify which workers an employer will require to work in order to ensure the service levels required.
Failure to comply with a work notice or be deemed to have taken reasonable steps to show compliance with the notice will mean that unions lose protection from liability of encouraging workers to take part in strikes, removing the automatic protection workers had from unfair dismissal if a work notice is in place.
What are the minimum service levels?
Currently, there are no details confirming what the minimum service levels are or what would be required from each sector to meet the levels.
There seems to be mixed reactions regarding the proposed new bill - sectors are already facing challenges to source workers during shortages, having this bill passed could cause more difficulty for them.
We will provide more updates on this as they come through.