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Hi Ben, until now Unison have said in writing its ok to conintue supply of a limited number of existing pre booekd staff, which would be my understanding of the regs anyway, sbut this time (this is the 4th round of action) they have sent a letter saying under the conduct of emplyoment egnacy regulations we cannot supply staff to cover strike action, that isn't what we are doing or intend to do as we regularly supply agnecy staff in these services all the time - but just wanted to clarify our position regularyl as I have written back to them to explain the current situation.
Many thanks for your patience. There are certain restrictions in relation to this.
Regulation 7 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 prevents temporary workers from performing the duties normally performed by a worker who is taking part in a strike. It means that an employment business supplying workers in these circumstances will be committing a criminal offence.
The above restriction only applies if the strike has been officially organised so any unofficial or illegal strike action will not be covered by this. Similarly, the agency providing the workers will not be guilty of an offence if they did not know about the strike or had no reasonable grounds to believe there was a strike.
It is still possible for the employer to hire temporary employees on fixed-term contracts to cover the striking employees, however they cannot use an agency or employment business to supply these workers for them.
So the key is what you are supplying staff for - if they are there to cover striking workers, assuming it is an official strike, then you cannot do that. However, if they are there to undertake other duties, which are not the duties of the striking workforce, that should be no problem.
I hope this has answered your query and would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you