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Ministers have approved plans to allow agency workers to replace staff who are on strike, this is despite many experts disagreeing with the proposal.

Last month, the TUC and REC said that this was an ‘unworkable’ plan, believing it to be counter-productive, impractical and would put workers at risk.

Responding to the latest news that the plan will go ahead, Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at the Association for Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), commented, “With the uncertainty of the ongoing leadership election, we believe this decision should at least have been delayed and time given to the new Prime Minister to consider this important change in legislation, particularly following the concerns that have been raised with us by so many recruitment leaders.

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“APSCo has previously written to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and a number of Ministers calling on the need for a consultation before any decision is made. We received communication in response to this from Paul Scully MP whilst he was Business Minister that the proposed changes would continue to move forward despite the concerns raised.”

“While we recognise the desire to limit the disruption associated with staff strikes, other measures such as limiting this use of agency workers to replace striking workers to certain sectors and scenarios or only allowing this action to provide a skeleton crew, should at least have been considered. APSCo will continue to raise the concerns of our members with government about both the timing of this legislation change and, more importantly, the ramifications this change will have for workers and business into the future.”

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