Industrial Disputes

Department for Business and Trade written question – answered on 22 March 2023.

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Photo of Baroness O'Grady of Upper Holloway Baroness O'Grady of Upper Holloway Labour

To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of days lost in strike action per 1,000 workers in each of the last five years in (1) the UK, (2) France, (3) Spain, and (4) Italy; and what assessment they have made of the comparison between the UK and those countries in respect of those figures.

Photo of Lord Johnson of Lainston Lord Johnson of Lainston Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the UK show that in the 7 months to December 2022, there were 2,472,000 working days lost from striking workers. This is the highest for a seven-month period since June to December 1990 (when 3,837,000 working days were lost).

The Government does not believe that direct comparisons with other European countries are particularly helpful because of the different administrative and legal frameworks governing industrial action. It remains the case that, while the exact arrangements vary, the other countries mentioned in the question have had minimum service levels in place for a variety of services for many years.

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