Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill

On Monday 30 January 2023 the House debated amendments to the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill at committee stage. If passed, the Bill would allow the Government to impose requirements for minimum service levels during strikes in six sectors: health, fire and rescue, education, transport, nuclear decommissioning and border security. Unions and workers would have to comply with these minimum service requirements or face losing protections against being sued or dismissed.

These are the amendments that were before the House:

Amendment 1 This amendment would preserve existing protections from unfair dismissal, including for an employee who participates in a strike contrary to a work notice under the Bill. 

I voted in favour of this Motion, which was not passed, Ayes: 246, Noes: 315.

Amendment 2 This amendment would require the Secretary of State to specify any minimum service levels on strike days no higher than the lowest level of service over the previous year. 

(5) Levels of service set by regulations under subsection (1) may not exceed the lowest actual level of service for the relevant service recorded on any day of the 12 months before the regulations are laid.

(6) Before making regulations under subsection (1) for the relevant service, the Secretary of State must lay before Parliament a report showing that the condition in subsection (5) is met.

I voted in favour of this Motion, which was not passed, Ayes: 247, Noes: 318. 

Amendment 4 This amendment would require the Government to publish assessments of how the proposed legislation would impact on workforce numbers, individual workers, equalities, employers and trade unions before the Bill comes into operation.

(5) The Secretary of State may not make any regulations under this section until after a Minister of the Crown has laid before Parliament assessments outlining the impacts of the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 on—

(a) workforce numbers, (b) Individual workers, (c) employers, (d) trade unions, and (e) equalities

I voted in favour of this Motion, which was not passed, Ayes: 250, Noes: 317. 

Third Reading

I voted against the third reading of the Bill which was passed, Ayes: 315, Noes: 246.

The Bill passed its third reading and will now move to its next stage.