Trade Union Bill exemption call for Scotland

02 November 2015

An official request has been made for Scotland to be excluded from the entire Trade Union Bill.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work Skills & Training, Roseanna Cunningham has made the request in a letter to the UK Minister for Skills, Nick Boles.

In her letter Ms Cunningham said that she believes the Trade Union Bill proposals have the potential to undermine the effective engagement of trade unions across Scottish workplaces and in particular across the Scottish public sector.

She said that all the measures within the Bill in combination will affect employees’ right to strike, change the relationship between unions and organisations negatively, and lead to greater confusion amongst employees. The letter states that this directly impacts across Scottish business and especially the devolved public services in Scotland and is therefore not a constructive platform upon which the Scottish government can pursue their ambitions for Scottish workers.

The letter goes on to say that there are significant concerns that the Bill as currently drafted leaves far too much scope for abuse in the future and that the detail of much of the Bill is to be set out in regulations, and there would be no formal opportunity for the Scottish government to influence such regulations.

The letter concludes with a request that Scotland be excluded from the entire Bill and that an alternative extent clause be introduced as one of the UK government’s amendments to the Bill. The Scottish government believes this is the only way in which they will be able to maintain the integrity of their more progressive approach of working in partnership with unions and in particular, for devolved Scottish public services to remain guided by the Scottish Ministers and the Parliament.

Related CIPP news

· Payroll payment for union subscriptions to be abolished - 7 August 2015

· Trade Union Bill published - 17 July 2015