Bill consent could be withheld
Scottish Parliament debates Westminster’s Trade Union Bill.
The Scottish Government is to bring forward a Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Trade Union Bill.
Speaking in a Scottish Parliamentary debate on the draft Westminster legislation, Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham told the chamber that the memorandum would give the Scottish Parliament the chance to fully consider whether it would give consent to the application of the Bill’s provisions in Scotland.
Key concerns include:
- Scottish Ministers are responsible for making decisions around requirements on public employers rather than the UK government
- Public authorities in Scotland are largely devolved and the Bill would impact their employment contracts and good industrial relations
- The Bill could potentially breach the European Convention on Human Rights
- The Bill impacts upon the Agricultural Wages (Scotland) Act 1949, a devolved area of responsibility.
The Trade Union Bill also faced its third reading in the House of Commons yesterday.
Ms Cunningham said yesterday:
“There is no part of the Trade Union Bill that we think is a good idea. It’s bad for workers, bad for business and bad for Scotland. For that reason I have asked the UK Government to exclude Scotland from the Bill in its entirety.
“However, as they appear unwilling to do so, I am now making it clear that they should seek the consent of the Scottish Parliament before attempting to impose this ill-thought through piece of legislation in Scotland.
“I know that Westminster processes continue and the stage 3 reading is today in the House of Commons. While I await its outome, a Legislative Consent Memorandum is being drafted, so the Scottish Parliament can fully consider whether it consents to the application of the Bill’s provisions in Scotland.
“I have a number of concerns around the Bill and its application in Scotland. I believe that Scottish Ministers are responsible for making decisions around requirements on public employers, such as local authorities and health bodies in Scotland. These bodies are largely devolved and the Bill could seriously impact on their employment contracts and good industrial relations.
“Furthermore, the Bill could potentially breach the European Convention on Human Rights, a point made by both STUC and the Law Society.
“All of these issues may give grounds for the consent of the Scottish Parliament to be sought, but we must bear in mind that this is uncharted territory. There has not previously been an occasion where the UK and Scottish Governments could not reach prior agreement on issues of legislative consent. Sadly this is indicative of the lack of dialogue from the UK Government before the Bill’s introduction.
“This Bill is an aggressive, regressive and unwarranted ideological attack on the rights of workers in Scotland and I again call on the UK government to reconsider its merits.”
Latest News from
Ethical standards in public life - model code of conduct for board members: consultation analysis11/06/2021 15:05:00
An analysis of responses to the consultation on current proposals for a revised Model Code of Conduct for members of devolved public bodies.
Remobilising NHS dentists11/06/2021 12:05:00
£5 million to help meet safety standards and see more patients.
Get into Summer11/06/2021 10:05:00
Children and young people most impacted by Covid will be supported by £20 million to create opportunities to socialise, play and reconnect this summer.
Final Proposals for councillor numbers and wards for Argyll and Bute, Highland and North Ayrshire council areas submitted to Scottish Ministers11/06/2021 08:05:00
Boundaries Scotland has submitted its final proposals for councillor numbers and wards in Argyll and Bute, Highland and North Ayrshire council areas to Scottish Ministers.
Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020: sixth report - responses to requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 200210/06/2021 15:05:00
Report on the Scottish Ministers’ handling of requests for information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 for the period from 27 March to 26 May 2021.
Coronavirus Acts: seventh report to Scottish Parliament10/06/2021 12:05:00
This is the Scottish Government's seventh report on the operation and status of the provisions of the coronavirus legislation.
Rapid test kits rolled out to pharmacies09/06/2021 15:20:00
Expansion has vital role to play in tackling pandemic.
Accelerating green growth09/06/2021 14:25:00
Initiative to unlock £200m of low carbon investment launched.