Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act
Gained Royal Assent on 20 July 2023
This Bill would permit the Secretary of State to set out the minimum service required in critical sectors during strikes. Unions or workers that fail to comply would face losing their protection against legal action or dismissal.
Currently only police, armed forces and some prison workers are prohibited from striking. In addition, there are already some statutory provisions that aim to prevent industrial action where life is endangered. This would extend the restrictions to transport and other public sector bodies including fire & rescue and education. The Opposition pledges to repeal the bill if it becomes law and they win the next election.
The Act came into force on 20 July 2023, but the consultation process and drafting of complex new regulations is likely to take some time (although consultations in certain sectors began as long ago as February, such as in the railway sector). It is therefore possible that the Act will only have limited practical effects before the next general election.