Government confirms plans to introduce legislation to enable employment businesses to supply temporary workers to mitigate impacts of industrial action

Advice  |   12 July 2022

Written by
Elliott Flockhart, Trainee Solicitor

The Government has confirmed its plans to introduce legislation which will enable employment businesses to supply temporary workers in response to staff shortages during official industrial action. Furthermore, the maximum damages that can be awarded in action against a union for unlawful industrial action will be substantially increased.

Currently, employment businesses are not permitted to supply employers with temporary workers to undertake duties of a striking worker involved in official industrial action. The purpose of the new legislation is to simplify the process for employers seeking to mitigate the impacts of industrial action. While employers are still required to engage temporary workers with the skills and qualifications needed to meet health and safety obligations, employers will no longer need to engage temporary replacements for striking workers directly.

Regarding the Government’s proposal to substantially increase caps on damages for unlawful industrial action, the caps range from £10,000 for unions with fewer than 5,000 members, to £250,000 for unions with 100,000 members or more. The maximum award will increase from £250,000 to £1 million for the largest unions.

The changes will come into force in England, Scotland and Wales within ‘the coming weeks’.

Advice

If you need assistance or advice on the contents of this article, please contact the Employment Team at Thackray Williams LLP 020 8290 0440.

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