Yesterday the government published the “Reform Bill”, which outlines how EU legislation will be converted into UK law.
Like many organisations, UNISON has real concerns about the legislation, in particular that it places too much power in the hands of the government and far too little power in the hands of Parliament and the people.
This isn’t taking back control – this is a blatant power grab by a weakened Prime Minister. It’s completely unacceptable for important legislation on employment rights to be in the hands of ministers rather than Parliament. Under the Bill as it currently stands – thanks to so-called “Henry the Eighth” powers – the Tories would be able to remove vital rights at work without a vote in Parliament.
Hard won rights fought for and won over decades could be eliminated by the stroke of a pen in Whitehall.
UNISON will be campaigning for proper parliamentary scrutiny and the defence of those vital rights by Parliament. By failing to meaningfully involve MPs, devolved nations and the public in this significant constitutional process, Theresa May is steering a course for a constitutional crisis.
UNISON wants to see all existing employment rights maintained and the establishment of a new parliamentary mechanism to ensure that UK rights keep pace with those in the EU. We’ll be fighting for those rights and protections in the weeks ahead, to stop the government removing your rights without debate, oversight or even a vote.