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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

REC comments on announcement of Regulation 7 consultation aimed at allowing agency staff to replace striking workers

Press releases

Commenting on the government’s announcement of a consultation on removing Regulation 7 across all sectors, Neil Carberry, Chief Executive for the REC, said:

The announcement of a consultation on whether to remove the prohibition on use of agency workers in strikes is a disappointment, given the scale of opposition from employers and workers to the previous proposal. We will represent the views of agencies fully in response to the consultation.

“Neither agencies or trade unions think this change promotes effective strike resolution or protects agency workers. Strikes are industrial disputes within a single industry or firm. Inserting a third party like this into an industrial dispute may end up extending the dispute, not least by inflaming tensions.

“It is also puzzling that the government assumes agency staff will choose a role that requires them to cross a picket line versus one that doesn’t, when we have two million job postings in the UK.”


Notes to editors:

Strike laws to be passed to protect vital public services over Christmas – Gov.UK

Labour Market Tracker: Employers waiting longer than usual to hire for Christmas – REC November 2023. The number of active postings in the week of 16-22 October 2023 was 2,150,083 – a 7.9% increase compared to the previous week (9-15 October 2023).

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