UK's Minimum Service Level Law

The U.K. government introduced legislation in the House of Commons on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, mandating minimum service levels (MSL) in key public sectors. The move came a day after talks between trade unions and the Conservative government failed to make adequate progress. The new law, if passed, would allow the government to take unions to court if a threshold level of service is not maintained in critical sectors. The proposed law has been met with criticism from trade unions who have called it undemocratic and questioned its legality and workability.

Minimum Service Levels

  • The new legislation, introduced by Business Secretary Grant Shapps, aims to establish minimum service levels in key public sectors to ensure the safety of the public. The government has cited the December 2020 strike by ambulance workers as a reason for the new law, stating that they did not provide a minimum level of service during the strike. The Bill covers six sectors �health, education, fire safety, transport, border security, and nuclear decommissioning.
  • The government is seeking to enter voluntary agreements in four of the six sectors: healthcare, education, border security, and nuclear decommissioning. Mr. Shapps stated that the government believed in the right to strike but wanted to ensure that the public's safety is not compromised. He also added that several other developed economies and democracies in Europe and elsewhere already had similar laws.

Trade Union Criticism

  • Trade unions have criticized the legislation, with Labour Deputy Leader accusing the Conservatives of having caused the problem through their economic policies.
  • The Trade Union Congress organized a meeting of unions shortly after the bill was introduced to discuss coordinating strikes across sectors with �a day of action in pursuit of fair pay for public service workers�, as reported in the Guardian.

The new legislation introduced by the U.K. government aims to establish minimum service levels in key public sectors to ensure the safety of the public. The move comes after talks between trade unions and the Conservative government failed to make adequate progress. The proposed law has been met with criticism from trade unions who have called it undemocratic and questioned its legality and workability. The government has stated that they believe in the right to strike but want to ensure that the public's safety is not compromised. The Bill covers six sectors �health, education, fire safety, transport, border security, and nuclear decommissioning, and the government is seeking to enter voluntary agreements in four of the six sectors.

 

 

Written by IAS POINT

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