Agency workers can plug gaps caused by strikes

The government has announced a controversial change in the law which states that from 21 July 2022, businesses in England, Wales and Scotland can now provide skilled agency workers to fill staffing gaps caused by industrial strike action. The government announced that it has repealed 'trade union laws that restrict employment businesses from providing temporary agency workers to fill vacant positions caused by staff striking'.

From 21 July 2022, businesses most affected by industrial action will be able to call upon skilled, temporary staff at short notice to plug essential positions. The change in the law will apply across all sectors. Companies will still be required to abide by broader health and safety rules that keep employees and the public safe. In addition, it will be the responsibility of individual businesses to hire temporary workers with the correct and suitable skillset and/or qualifications to meet the obligations of the role.

Employers should review their policies and procedures to ensure that they comply with the new law when adopting it. Employers should consider taking specialist advice in this area; it has been reported that at least one trade union is considering taking legal action against the government in relation to the new regulations.

To discuss this or any other employment matter, contact us.

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