Welsh Labour Government Passes Bill to Protect Public Sector Working Rights across Wales


The Welsh Labour’s Local Government Secretary, Mark Drakeford, announced that the Welsh Labour Government will act to protect the current UK-wide position where agency workers are prevented from covering the work of public sector employees during industrial action.

Ogmore constituency’s Assembly Member, Huw Irranca-Davies, stated: “I’m proud that the Welsh Labour Government is defending the rights of public sector workers in Ogmore and across Wales. It is vital that we protect and support our essential public sector workers’.”

The Welsh Labour Government has amended its Trade Union Bill, at Stage 2 of the Bill’s passage through the National Assembly, to ensure that current arrangements remain in place with regards to devolved public services. Welsh Labour believes that the Trade Union Bill could be leading to prolonged, protracted disputes, greater confrontation and more disruption to some of the most vulnerable users of our vital public services.

The Trade Union (Wales) Bill will, when enacted, reverses the effect of certain provisions in the Tory UK Government’s Trade Union Act 2016, in order to protect and promote the successful Welsh model of social partnership.

The decision to introduce an amendment to the Bill follows a UK Government consultation on revoking the current legal position where employers are unable to use temporary workers to provide cover when staff take industrial action. This would apply to industrial action taken by workers in all sectors, including workers employed in the public sector in Wales.

The Welsh Labour Government has since consulted on whether the current position should be maintained in devolved public services and has subsequently decided to amend the Trade Union Bill to prevent the UK Government from legislating in this area.