Consultation on the ban on employing agency workers during strike action in Wales

Close date: 6 December 2016

The Welsh Government consults on the ban on employing agency workers during industrial action in relation to public services. Regulation 7 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/3319) prevents employment businesses from providing temporary workers to perform the duties normally performed by a worker who is taking part in a strike or other industrial action. An employment business supplying workers in these circumstances will be committing a criminal offence, and the employer could be found to be aiding and abetting that offence.

To protect the Social Partnership, which is the partnership between the Welsh Government and public-sector bodies and between employers and trade unions, the Welsh Government intends to ensure that the current ban continues to apply to Welsh public services. The consultation seeks views on the options for achieving this.

The consultation was launched against the background of the UK Government's proposal to remove the ban on the use of agency workers, as part of its proposals for trade union reform in the UK. Removing Reg.7 would have allowed employers facing industrial action to hire temporary agency workers from employment businesses to cover for striking workers.
Consultation document: Consultation on the use of agency workers during strike action in Welsh public services