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Employers can now use agency workers to cover striking employees

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Posted by Victoria Sargeant on 3rd August 2022

Business Services

New regulations have been introduced, which means that the restrictions that previously prevented employers affected by strike action from engaging agency staff or casual temporary workers are no longer in place for employers providing crucial public services. 

The law previously prevented employers from using agency workers to cover absences created by staff striking. This could be very restrictive for employers and their workflow/output.

These new regulations revoke the previous restrictions of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations. Employers will now be able to engage temporary staff to perform duties normally undertaken by an employee who is partaking in industrial action, or to cover other staff shortages that have arisen because of the strike.

I hope that this will ensure as little disruption to people's daily lives as possible in the midst of any strikes.

While this will have a minimal impact on the financial and reputational damage that businesses can sustain as a result of strike action, it will allow business to continue as much as possible and reduce the impact on services. Employers will still be bound by broader health and safety laws, so they must ensure that any temporary workers are suitably qualified and can meet the legal obligations of any role.

In addition to this, the government has increased the potential levy that can be imposed on unions for unlawfully calling a strike has been increased to £1million.

If you require legal support for your business, please get in touch with our employment experts to discuss how we can help you on 01752 663295.