Richard Arthur, head of trade union law at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The Bill is far more sweeping than the government suggested, covering workers in education and border security that Grant Shapps chose not to mention as he promoted the Bill on the airwaves.
“It is unclear what ‘minimum safety’ will look like and given the current dangerous staffing levels of essential services it has every prospect of undermining the right to strike.
“There is a direction that employers will ‘take no consideration’ whether those specified to work under ‘work notices’ are union members or not. There is a limited right of consultation with the union before a work notice is made.
“The union must take ‘reasonable steps to ensure the required employees work’, and risks being sued if they don’t. The employees themselves face losing unfair dismissal protection and will be at risk of being fired.
“This is a blunt instrument wheeled out to threaten unions alongside holding sham talks. It will face extensive challenge in both parliament and the courts.”