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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I run a small recruitment business supplying staff into the

Customer Question

I run a small recruitment business supplying staff into the social care sector, we supply staff to a client on a regular basis who are booked on a rolling weekly basis, the client has industrial action in their business next week, we have continued to supply pre booked regular staff in throughout the action and had verification from the union that is ok, but have not supplied any new staff in to cover industrial action is this the right stance to continue with ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Has anyone raised this as an issue or said it is a problem? What are your specific concerns about this? PS: I am in tribunal today so there may be a slight delay in replying but you will get my full advice later in the afternoon, thank you in advance
JACUSTOMER-4j9yifo2- :

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.

Ben Jones :

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.

Ben Jones :

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