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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-06212: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 16 January 2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will introduce a trade union bill during the current parliamentary session.

Answered by: John Swinney 30 January 2017

The Scottish Government is strongly opposed to the UK Government’s Trade Union Act and sought an exemption from the UK Government during the passage of the Bill. The Act is a threat to the fundamental rights of workers and seeks to undermine Scotland’s approach to industrial relations.

In light of the judgement expressed by the previous Presiding Officer on the UK Trade Union Bill, the subject matter is outwith the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament. Despite this, we will continue to utilise all available powers to limit the impact of this unnecessary legislation and promote strong industrial relations in Scotland.

Contrary to the actions of the UK Government, the Scottish Government recognises that it is vital to support strong trade unions. That is why we committed £250,000 to the STUC for a Trade Union Modernisation Fund to help mitigate the negative impacts of this UK legislation so that trade union representatives are not diverted away from supporting their members and helping employers embrace fairer working practices. And that is why we provided £2.26 million in 2016/17 to support Scottish Union Learning and an additional £100,000 to support Equality and Leadership Projects.