Legal challenge against government’s agency worker regulations

  • 10 May 2023

The NUJ is among several unions challenging the right of employers to use agency workers during a strike.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) alongside sister unions  mounted a coordinated legal challenge in the High Court against the Government’s plans to introduce legislation which enables agency workers to be hired by employers during strike action.   

At hearings on 3 and 4 May, Judge Mr Justice Linden heard arguments in which the NUJ say, the regulations known as The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022, are unlawful because:

  • The then Secretary of State for business failed to consult unions, as required by the Employment Agencies Act 1973
  • They violate fundamental trade union rights protected by Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights

The NUJ, ASLEF, BFAWU, FDA, GMB, NEU, NUJ, POA, PCS, RMT, Unite and Usdaw are bringing the legal challenge coordinated by the TUC. The NUJ warns that these new laws will worsen industrial disputes and undermine the fundamental right to strike.

The union will update members on Judge Linden's decision once available. 

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