The government has confirmed that workers taking lawful industrial action during the COVID-19 lockdown have a right to picket following a successful legal challenge from Unite the union and Thompsons Solicitors.

Richard Arthur, head of trade union law at Thompsons Solicitors, said:

"After the government and North Yorkshire police were forced by Unite to accept that workers taking industrial action have the right to picket lawfully during the COVID-19 pandemic, today’s hearing for interim relief did not proceed.  

"At a time when many workers are losing their jobs or being forced into working longer hours and taking pay cuts, it is vital that unions are able to represent their members effectively.

"Success in this case ensures that union voices can continue to be heard loud and clear speaking out for all workers, and COVID-19 cannot be used as an excuse to restrict legitimate picketing."