Parliament approves draft legislation to supply agency workers during strikes

Members of Parliament voted 284 to 202 on 11th July 2022 after a heated debate to approve draft legislation that will allow recruitment agencies to supply workers during strikes.

One MP opposing the amendment described the action as “another sad day for democracy in this place”.

In response to the debate and amendment approval, Neil Carberry, CEO of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), said: “We have been clear that repealing the ban on agency staff covering for striking employees will not work.

“So, we regret the results of last night’s vote and look to the upcoming House of Lords debate to raise key issues again. As and when the law does change, we would advise recruitment agencies to tread very carefully. Not all business is good business, and they should consider the potential risks to both their business and agency workers before deciding whether to supply staff to a strike situation.”

Deputy speaker Jane Hunt said: “This is a permissive change that will not force employment businesses to supply agency staff to employers to cover strikes. Agency workers will still be able to decline any assignments they are offered and the right to strike is unaffected.

“This change is simply about giving both employers and employees more freedom and flexibility to decide what works best for them—a freedom that the current outdated regulations deny them.”