New bill to keep Britain moving during transport strikes
- the law will ensure that transport services will continue to operate during the strike
- the bill will keep Britain moving, allow businesses the continuity of certain services and allow passengers to continue to travel to work, school and medical appointments
- follows through on the Prime Minister’s commitment to introduce the Bill within the first 30 days of Parliament sitting
The government has today (20 October 2022) taken the first steps to ensure that transport strikes no longer paralyze the country.
The Transport Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill means that, even during the most disruptive strikes, a certain level of services will still work. This will allow passengers to go to work, go to school and make vital medical appointments and allow businesses to continue to grow the economy.
In addition to the huge impact on people’s daily lives, economists have estimated that the first wave of rail strikes, in June 2022, cost the UK economy nearly £100million, putting further pressure on businesses and arresting people around the world. countries to access their workplace during a cost of living crisis.
Thanks to this law, businesses and passengers will no longer be disproportionately and unfairly affected by events beyond their control and the decisions of striking workers and unions.
The Prime Minister is delivering on her commitment to introduce the bill within her first 30 days in Parliament and delivering on the Conservative Party manifesto commitment to limit the impact of strikes on workers and businesses across the country.
Premier Liz Truss said:
Hard-working people and businesses should not be ransomed by strikes that have repeatedly crippled our transportation network this year.
This legislation delivers on our 2019 manifesto and will not only limit the ability of unions to cripple our economy, but will ensure that passengers across the country can rightly continue to travel to work, school or hospital.
Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:
Strikes have affected nearly all of us over the past year, whether it’s losing a day’s pay at work, having to shut down your business, missing vital medical appointments, or preventing our children to go to school.
It is essential that public transport users have some continuity of service to keep Britain moving and growing – this legislation will give everyone the certainty they need to get on with their daily lives.
The legislation will mean:
- a minimum level of service must be in place during transport strikes – if not provided, unions will lose legal protections against damages
- employers will specify the workforce needed to provide an adequate level of service during strikes and unions must take reasonable steps to ensure that an appropriate number of specified workers continue to work on strike days
- specified workers who are still on strike will lose protection against automatic unfair dismissal
The bill will establish the legal framework not only to set minimum service levels across the transport sector, but also to implement and enforce them. The specific details of how the minimum service levels will apply to transport services will be defined in secondary legislation in due course after public consultation.
The intent of the legislation is for the employers and unions involved to agree on a minimum level of service to continue operating during all strikes over a 3 month period. If such a level cannot be agreed, an independent arbiter – the Central Arbitration Committee – will determine the minimum number of services.
The bill will begin its first reading today. The legislation is due to come into effect on transport services across the country in 2023 and follows similar rules already in place in European countries, including France and Spain.