The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill

News  |   11 January 2023

Written by
Lisa Rothon, Senior Associate Solicitor

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy yesterday introduced the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill in Parliament. If enacted, the Bill will reserve power for the Secretary of State to set minimum service levels (MSLs) within a number of sectors including health, transport and education.

The Government has communicated that it will first consult on MSLs for fire, ambulance and rail services and hopes to not have to use these powers for other sectors included within the Bill, such as education, border security and other health services. Parties in those sectors are expected to reach a sensible and voluntary agreement on reasonable service levels when there is strike action. Employers will be able to then identify the workers required to work during a strike to ensure the MSL, and the relevant trade union will be required to take reasonable steps to ensure members of the union so identified comply, or will otherwise lose its immunity from liability for economic loss caused "in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute".

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