What is the anti-strike bill and who does it affect?
The ‘anti strike’ bill passed into law in the UK on July 20th 2023. Officially called the Strikes (Minimum Service Level) Act, the legislation received royal assent with significant controversy. Nevertheless, the rules set out in the act affect a number of key sectors and the relationship between employers and employees within those sectors as a result. In this blog, we’ll break down what the anti-strike bill means and who is affected by the changes.
The Strikes (minimum service) Act explained
The intention behind the act was to guarantee the public would still have access to certain services at a minimum level during periods of strike action. Many other European countries have had a similar kind of legislation in place for many years, including Italy, Spain, and France. The minimum service level (MSL) requirements outlined are different for each sector they affect. These are as follows:
- Health services
- Fire and rescue services
- Education services
- Transport services
- Border security
- Services involved in the decommissioning of nuclear installations and radioactive waste and fuel management
The effect on employers and employees
Employers that are given warning of upcoming strike action by a trade union can now issue a notice to the body in response. This work notice outlines the minimum workforce necessary to supply the level of service specified by the regulations. Employers must identify the workers who are needed to work during the strike, taking into account the rules of the act. They state that employers must first consult with the trade union before issuing a notice. The employer then has until 7 days from the strike date to send the notice.
Employers in the affected sectors should have a plan in place for allocating the resources to meet MSL. This will allow them to be prepared in the event that the intention for strike action is made known by a trade union. Every trade union will have different views and potential reasons for striking. Keeping a record of who belongs to which trade unions will also help employers prepare for the consultation prior to the work notice being sent.
As there are many steps and pages of legislation that need to be understood by employers before they can establish how MSL requirements are going to be met, it is often beneficial to get employment law support. Our team is familiar with all employment law updates as new regulations are introduced, and old ones phased out. This allows us to offer a range of services for employers, especially in areas such as staff absence management.
Get legal advice from employment professionals
Employment Law Services (ELS) Ltd is a multi-award-winning firm providing legal services for the improvement of workplaces across the UK. To this end, we are committed to supporting employers who are required to always offer a minimum level of service. Our experts understand that when services in these sectors are not provided, it can impact not only your employees’ lives, but those of the general public too. Book a free consultation today to let us know what area of employment law you need assistance with.