While the Government and I continue to support the right to strike, this should always be a last resort. The Government hugely respects and values the work of our public sector workers, and it is committed to avoid prolonged industrial action. The rights of workers to strike must be balanced against the rights of the wider public to get on with their daily lives.
The Government has a duty to the public to ensure their safety, protect their access to vital public services, and help them go about their daily lives. Therefore, the Government will introduce legislation to require Minimum Service Levels for vital public services such as healthcare, rail, fire and border security to maintain critical and in many cases life-saving services. This legislation will allow the Government, NHS, the public and other services to plan properly for the running of services in times of strike – and ensure that striking workers are not inadvertently putting the public at risk.
This package of measures will see the UK align with many countries across the world such as France and Spain that already have minimum service agreements in place, to prevent large swathes of their economies being ground to a halt by industrial action.