Strikes Bill to become law

In February, we reported on the introduction of the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill.  Following strong opposition from the House of Lords, a watered down version of the Bill received Royal Assent on 20 July 2023, meaning that it will now become law.

The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 (‘the Act’) aims to reduce the impact of strike action on the public by making provision for the government to set minimum service levels during strike action in a number of key sectors including health, transport, fire and rescue and education.  This will ensure that a minimum service continues to operate by enabling employers to issue a work notice ahead of any strike action to specify the workforce required to maintain necessary levels of service.  The nature of the work and the number of persons required will be determined through consultation by employers with the relevant unions.

The government confirmed in its press release that it will now proceed with plans to implement minimum service levels for passenger rail services, ambulance services and fire and rescue services which will require secondary legislation for it to be brought into force.  Consultations have already taken place on minimum service levels in these areas.  The government will also introduce a new statutory code of practice so that all parties are clear on the obligations of unions under the Act.

You can read our previous article on this topic here:

Government introduces further Bill relating to strike action