Permission granted for judicial review of the new legislation allowing agency workers to take the place of striking workers
The High Court granted permission on 14 December for a judicial review of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (the Regulations), which allow agency workers to be used to fill in for striking workers.
Three sets of legal proceedings were launched in September 2022 in response to the Regulations which came into force on 21 July 2022. One challenge is being co-ordinated by the TUC and has been brought by 11 trade unions, while separate challenges have been brought by Unison and NASUWT. All of them have been given permission to proceed.
The unions will argue that the regulations are unlawful on two grounds. The first is that the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) failed to consult the unions as it is required to do under the Employment Agencies Act 1973. The second is that the regulations violate fundamental trade union rights that are protected under Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The judicial review proceedings are expected to be heard in March.