A judge ruled the new rules are unlawful and ordered they be quashed from 10 August 2023.
Legislation that permitted employers to use external agency staff to cover strike action has been ruled “unlawful” by the High Court.
Trade Union Congress (TUC) brought legal proceedings against the government on behalf of eleven trade unions in a bid to protect the right to strike.
It comes after the then Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng changed the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003 permitting employers to use agency workers to cover employees taking industrial action.
The rules applied to all sectors, including Health and Social Care.
Unions successfully argued they had not been consulted on the changes and the legislation interfered with the rights of trade unions and their members.
Mr Justice Linden for the High Court ruled the new rules were unlawful and ordered they be quashed from 10 August 2023.
A significant victory.
TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak explained, “This defeat is a badge of shame for the Conservatives, who have been found guilty of breaching the law.
“Bringing in less-qualified agency staff to deliver important services risks endangering public safety, worsening disputes and poisoning industrial relations.
Richard Arthur, head of trade union law, at Thompson Solicitors, added “This is a significant victory for the entire trade union movement and preserves a vital safeguard in ensuring the right to participate in industrial action is effective.
“The judgment makes clear that the then Secretary of State had a staggering disregard to his legal obligations when introducing legislation that enabled employers to engage agency workers to cover the duties of striking workers.
“He was driven solely by a political ideology to meet a self-imposed deadline to implement the regulations in the face of mounting industrial action across the country.