Amendment 36B

Part of Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill - Committee (2nd Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 23 March 2023.

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Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero) 5:30, 23 March 2023

I thank noble Lords for their contributions to this debate. To start with the question from the noble Lord, Lord Collins, about the Government’s response to the reports from the Delegated Powers Committee, the Constitution Committee and the Joint Committee on Human Rights, I am happy to confirm that I expect to be able to respond to those reports before Report.

This amendment tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Collins, and the noble Baroness, Lady O’Grady, requires indicative minimum service levels to be set out before regulations can be made for that service. The Government recognise the importance of relevant parties having sight of a minimum service level before it is applied. That is why Secretaries of State must consult on minimum service level regulations and why Parliament will have an opportunity to contribute to the consultation and scrutinise those regulations, which are subject to the affirmative procedure, as I have said before.

The effect of this amendment is superfluous, given that all parties will be able to know the proposed minimum service levels once regulations are laid in the usual way. This approach ensures that the implementation of MSL is not significantly delayed, thereby not extending the disproportionate impact that strikes can have on the public. I am sure that the noble Lord, Lord Collins, and the noble Baroness, Lady O’Grady, will understand, if not agree, why the Government cannot accept the amendment.