1st Report, 2016 (Session 4): Report on the impact of the UK Government's Trade Union Bill in Scotland

SP Paper 881 (Web Only)

Contents

Report

Introduction

About the Trade Union Bill
Consideration of issues raised by the Bill in the Scottish Parliament

Consideration by the Committee – Key Issues

Background
General impact on industrial relations in Scotland and the culture of partnership working

Evidence taken

Consultation on the Bill with organisations in Scotland, between the two governments and intergovernmental relations more generally
Thresholds for ballots in key public services

What does the Bill propose?
Evidence taken

Changes to facility time and a statutory cap

What does the Bill propose?
Evidence taken

Check-off provisions

What does the Bill propose?
Evidence taken

Responsibility for the making of regulations (check-off and facility time provisions)

What does the Bill propose?
Evidence taken

ECHR matters and other international legal obligations

Conclusions & Recommendations

Our views on the Trade Union Bill
The need for improved intergovernmental relations and parliamentary oversight and notification

Annexe A – Scottish Government’s Policy Memorandum on the Trade Union Bill

Annexe B – Extracts from the minutes of the meetings of the Committee and links to the Official Reports

Remit and membership

Remit:

To consider matters relating to The Scotland Act 1998 (Modification of Schedule 5) Order 2013, the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013, its implementation and any associated legislation. Furthermore, (i) until the end of November 2014 or when the final report of the Scotland Devolution Commission has been published, to facilitate engagement of stakeholders with the Scotland Devolution Commission and to engage in an agreed programme of work with the Commission as it develops its proposals; and (ii) thereafter, to consider the work of the Scotland Devolution Commission, the proposals it makes for further devolution to the Scottish Parliament, other such proposals for further devolution and any legislation to implement such proposals that may be introduced in the UK Parliament or Scottish Parliament after the Commission has published its final report.

Membership:

Bruce Crawford (Convener)
Duncan McNeil (Deputy Convener)
Linda Fabiani
Rob Gibson
Alex Johnstone
Alison Johnstone
Lewis Macdonald
Stewart Maxwell
Mark McDonald
Stuart McMillan
Tavish Scott

Report on the impact of the UK Government's Trade Union Bill in Scotland

Introduction

About the Trade Union Bill

1. The Trade Union Bill 2015-16 is a UK Government Bill introduced in the House of Commons on 15 July 2015.1 The Bill makes provision about industrial action, trade unions, employers’ associations and the functions of the Certification Officer. According to a briefing paper from the House of Commons Library2, the main provisions in the Bill as introduced are as follows—

Clause 1 defines the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation Act 1992 as “the 1992 Act”. The Bill would amend this Act.

Clause 2 would introduce a 50 per cent turnout requirement for industrial action ballots, in addition to the current requirement for a majority vote in favour of action.

Under clause 3, industrial action in “important public services” would require a positive vote by at least 40 per cent of those entitled to vote in the ballot. This would be in addition to the 50 per cent turnout threshold and the requirement for a majority vote. “Important public services” would be defined in subsequent regulations, but could fall only within the following categories:

  • health services;
  • education of those aged under 17;
  • fire services;
  • transport services;
  • decommissioning of nuclear installations and management of radioactive waste and spent fuel; or
  • border security.

Clause 4-6 would require unions to include new types of information on industrial action ballots. Following a ballot, unions would have to communicate more detailed information to union members, employers and the Certification Officer.

Clause 7 would extend the period of notice unions must give employers prior to industrial action, from the current seven days to 14 days.

Clause 8 of the Bill would provide that industrial action ballot mandates would expire after a four-month period; industrial action after this point would require a fresh ballot.

Clause 9 would introduce new legal requirements relating to the supervision of picketing. The requirements would include, for example, that a picket supervisor must take reasonable steps to communicate information to the police. The clause would incorporate into law provisions of the 1992 Code of Practice on Picketing.

Clause 10 would make it unlawful to require a member of a union to contribute to a political fund unless he has indicated in writing willingness to do so. This would change political fund contributions from an opt-out to an opt-in arrangement. The opt-in agreement would expire after five years, subject to the possibility of renewal. Clause 11 would require unions to publish details of political expenditure in their annual returns if this expenditure exceeds £2,000 per annum. The annual return must detail the amount spent on political objects and the recipient(s) of each item of expenditure.

Clause 12 would introduce a power, whereby a Minister may by regulations require a relevant public sector employer to publish information relating to facility time taken by union officials. Clause 13 would create a reserve power whereby a Minister may make regulations to restrict facility time.

Clauses 14-17 and Schedules 1-3 would reform the role of the Certification Officer. They would introduce investigatory and enforcement powers; the power to impose financial penalties of between £200 and £20,000; and the power to, by regulations, make provision for the Certification Officer to require trade unions and employers’ associations to pay a levy, funding the performance of his role.

2. The Trade Union Bill would apply to England, Wales and Scotland. Employment law is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland.

3. The Bill completed its passage in the House of Commons on 10 November 2015 and was due for its 2nd Reading in the House of Lords on 11 January 2016.

Consideration of issues raised by the Bill in the Scottish Parliament

4. In the Explanatory Notes accompanying the Bill upon its introduction in the House of Commons, the UK Government stated—

The provisions of the Bill extend to Great Britain. In the view of the UK Government, the matters to which the provisions of the Bill relate are not within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament or the National Assembly for Wales; accordingly no legislative consent motions are required.3

5. In December 2015, the Scottish Government wrote to the Presiding Officer requesting her view on whether the legislative consent provision should apply to the Trades Union Bill whilst endeavouring to lodge a Legislative Consent Memorandum under Standing Order Rule 9.B. The Presiding Officer’s response set out her view, concluding that “the Parliament’s legislative consent is not required and it is not competent to lodge a Legislative Consent Memorandum”.

6. The Scottish Government subsequently lodged a policy memorandum (see Annexe A) in SPICe and also referred a copy to the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee for its consideration; details of which follow in a subsequent section of this report.

7. The Trades Union Bill has, however, already been the subject of discussion in the Scottish Parliament either at a variety of question times and, more specifically, in a Scottish Government-led debate on 10 November 2015. At the conclusion of the debate, the Parliament resolved with a majority of 104 for and 14 against that—

That the Parliament opposes and condemns the Trade Union Bill as proposed by the UK Government; believes that it restricts the fundamental rights of workers to organise, bargain collectively and, if necessary, withdraw their labour; further believes that it will both undermine the effective engagement of trade unions across Scottish workplaces and, in particular, across the Scottish public sector, and believes that free and healthy trade unions are an important element of a modern democracy.4

Consideration by the Committee – Key Issues

Background

8. As outlined above, the Scottish Government’s Policy Memorandum on the Bill was referred to the Committee by the Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training in December 2015, requesting it give due consideration to the points made in the Memorandum.

9. The Committee took evidence from a range of witnesses at its meeting on 7 January, namely—

  • Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary, STUC;
  • Shirley Rogers, Director of Work Force, NHS Scotland; and
  • Councillor Billy Hendry, Conservative, East Dunbartonshire Council, and Spokesperson on Human Relations, COSLA, supported by Jane O’Donnell of COSLA.

10. The focus of the Committee’s short inquiry on the Trade Union Bill has been on its potential impact in Scotland. In that light, a number of key issues have arisen and these are outlined below.

General impact on industrial relations in Scotland and the culture of partnership working

Evidence taken

11. In its Policy Memorandum, the Scottish Government argues that the Bill as a whole, and clause 3 in particular, will impact on public services in Scotland—

Clause 3 confers power on the Secretary of State to make regulations specifying “important public services” that fall within categories including: health services, education of those aged under 17; fire services; and transport services, meaning that the additional threshold requirement of 40% will apply in order for industrial action to be taken in those key service areas. This power is wide enough to affect and have a negative impact on trade unions and their members who work in the public sector in Scotland in the important public services.5

12. Concluding that—

The Scottish Government do not believe that the UK Trade Union Bill will bring any benefit to the people of Scotland and instead, will have a negative impact on Scottish public authorities, trade unions and the delivery of public services in Scotland.6

13. In his evidence to the Committee, Dave Moxham of the STUC said—

You will not be surprised to hear that the STUC’s view is that the bill is designed to fix a problem that does not exist, given that strike levels are at an historic low across the UK. As the Scottish Government has pointed out, the levels are even lower in Scotland. We consider the bill to be an ideological attack on the very basis of trade unionism. Trade unionism is designed to provide an effective balance in the workplace between the interests of workers and the interests of managers.7

14. Shirley Rogers of NHS Scotland agreed with this point—

For us, partnership working is already mature in the NHS; it is significantly developed and highly sophisticated and we see industrial relations as an absolute cornerstone of what we do in the NHS. We believe in co-production and we believe in co-producing in a tripartite relationship with Government, employers and staff, so partnership working arrangements are very well established and very highly regarded in the NHS.8

15. As did Councillor Billy Hendry of COSLA—

COSLA leaders are extremely concerned that the changes that are proposed in the bill are being brought in without any evidence to back up the assertion that they would modernise industrial relations between councils and trade unions. At present, we have a constructive environment in which we work very well with our trade union partners to the benefit of all communities across the country. We are involved in many different forums with them; to date, COSLA has found those forums to be very helpful in maintaining positive industrial relations, which ensures that services are delivered smoothly to every community. We all want that to continue.9

16. In its written submission to the Committee, CBI Scotland cited evidence provided by John Cridland, Director General of the CBI, to the Trade Union Public Bill Committee in the House of Commons. During this evidence, Mr Cridland set out the views of the CBI on the Bill as a whole. He said—

I believe the CBI does support the Bill, and I think the business community as a whole supports the Bill. Increasingly, the positive and constructive employee relations that we have built up over the economy are based on direct engagement with the workforce. We believe that there is a valuable role for trade unions but that the nature of trade union law needs to reflect the modern workplace in the way that I described—direct engagement.

I think the provisions in the Bill that are of most concern to businesses are those that ensure that where there is strike action—particularly in public utilities, education and health—it reflects a significant voice from the workforce. The fact that we are coming in with provisions similar to those in the statutory trade union recognition legislation, which has worked well and effectively for a number of years, reflects the sort of mandate of support that business, if it is to be significantly disrupted by the action I described, needs to see reflected. In principle, I think these are the right provisions.10

Consultation on the Bill with organisations in Scotland, between the two governments and intergovernmental relations more generally

17. In its Policy Memorandum, the Scottish Government notes that whilst it did not respond directly to the UK Government’s open consultation on certain aspects of the Bill—

… the Cabinet Secretary [for Fair Work, Skills and Training] has written to the Minister of state on a number of occasions to detail our concerns with the Bill proposals.

However, the UK Government has made no attempt at any point before introduction, to discuss the impact of this legislation on Scotland. The Lead Bill Committee took evidence from the Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work and Grahame Smith of the STUC, and a short call has taken place between the Cabinet Secretary and the Minister of State, but that was well after the introduction on the Bill. The Cabinet Secretary has firmly put forward not only the Scottish Government concerns but highlighted the wide spread opposition in Scotland in particular from the Scottish Public Services sector.11

18. The STUC also commented on its engagement to date with the UK Government and the process of scrutinising the Bill. Dave Moxham said—

There was a failure to consult, a very rushed process, a committee stage that was, in our view, very poor and the introduction of a couple of key additional aspects of the bill in that process. We did not know about the introduction of the check-off arrangements until well after the first reading. That was not subject to any consultation or any assessment of costs.12

Thresholds for ballots in key public services

What does the Bill propose?

19. The Bill proposes two reforms to industrial action ballots: a 50% minimum turnout requirement for all ballots, and a 40% minimum support requirement for industrial action in defined “important public services”.13 These services would include health, education and fire services. Ballots in these services would need to secure the support of at least 40% of those eligible to vote; this would apply together with the 50% turnout requirement and the requirement for a simple majority of those who vote.

20. The Bill’s Explanatory Notes provide an example:

… where 1000 union members make up the bargaining unit affected by the dispute, as per clause 2 the 50% participation threshold would need to be met: so at least 500 members would need to vote. The next test would be to determine whether the dispute was within an important public service and subject to the 40% threshold. If it was, then at least 40% of the 1000 members entitled to vote would need to vote in favour to enable industrial action. That means at least 400 members would need to vote in favour to enable action. A simple majority is still required in all ballots, so if all 1000 members had voted, then 501 votes in favour would be required to enable action.14

21. The UK Government has said that it estimates that the 40% threshold, if this is applied together with the 50% turnout threshold, would result in a 65% reduction in work stoppages in the UK, based on a sample of 78 ballots across five years.15

Evidence taken

22. In its Policy Memorandum, the Scottish Government argues that—

… the additional threshold imposed by Clause 3 relates to matters within devolved competence insofar as it relates to health services, education, fire services and certain elements of transport services provided in Scotland. The additional threshold will have a negative impact on trade unions and their members working in the public sector in those devolved areas and it affects the delivery of those public services in Scotland.16

23. In his evidence to the Committee, Dave Moxham of the STUC argued that the changes to ballot thresholds as well as the other provisions relating to the timing of various stages in the process of taking industrial action would exacerbate rather than reduce the likelihood of strikes. He argued—

… it is fundamentally and democratically wrong that an abstention should be counted as a no vote.17

and that—

What the Government is doing through changes to thresholds and ballot notice periods is essentially to make the situation sharper for unions. Unions will probably have to decide more quickly, and potentially on a more aggressive basis, whether to move to industrial action. The real risk of all of that is not that there will be less industrial action but that there will be more, because it will be harder for unions to navigate the process without recourse to industrial action in the final analysis.18

24. In its written evidence on the Bill to the UK Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the CBI argued—

The CBI supports the government’s proposals to introduce a 50% participation threshold for all ballots as a way of ensuring that industrial action is never called following apathy of union members. The CBI also supports the introduction of the further test in important public services that will require the support of at least 40% of all those entitled to vote. We would however encourage the government to consider a broader application of this test – combining a participation threshold and a voter threshold is the best way to ensure a union’s mandate for industrial action is tied to a clear and positive decision by the majority of the workforce.19

25. Furthermore, the CBI argued that the particular provisions relating to the threshold for essential public services be extended to the utility sector.20

Changes to facility time and a statutory cap

What does the Bill propose?

26. The Bill creates reporting requirements in respect of the amount of time off for union duties or activities taken by union representatives in the public sector, and would create a power by which UK Ministers could limit this time off.21 “Facility time” is time off from a person’s normal work to undertake trade union duties, learning development or activities. There is a statutory right to paid time off for trade union “duties” or training and to unpaid time off for union “activities”.

27. In terms of the costs unions will face familiarising themselves with the new law and ensuring they are compliant, the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills estimate these would amount to £3,223 per union.22

28. Figures recently released by the Scottish Government stated that the cost of facility time in the public sector in Scotland was £5.8 million in 2014/15. Of this sum, £3.1 million can be attributed to local authorities, £2.3 million to NHS Scotland and £0.38 million to Police Scotland.23

Evidence taken

29. In its Policy Memorandum, the Scottish Government argues that—

Restricting facility time is likely to limit the Scottish Government’s ability to work effectively with trade unions on a range of issues as they will not have the capacity to engage.24

30. In her evidence on this particular provision on the Bill and the impact on current practice in NHS Scotland, Shirley Rogers told the Committee that—

Some years ago, we in the NHS took the view that we wanted to invest in co-production; we wanted to front-load our investment in facility time to allow us to have a better product rather than to spend our time in conflict resolution and dispute management. The proof of that pudding is that, during the past 10 to 15 years, we can count on one hand the number of disputes that we have had.25

31. Quantifying the relative costs versus the benefits of facility time was a key issue for the Committee. In his evidence, Councillor Hendry of COSLA stated—

… I have absolutely no doubt that if my own council, East Dunbartonshire, thought that facility time was a waste of money councillors in that authority—and I am sure councillors right across Scotland—would be putting down amendments, motions or whatever to prevent it from happening. That opportunity already exists.

The general belief across the political spectrum and local government in Scotland is that there are benefits to this approach. However, quantifying that financially is difficult. You could put a figure on the amount of money that we save from not having to go to industrial tribunals, but it would be a very extensive exercise. From my point of view, the benefit for everyone is continuity of service delivery.26

and Shirley Rogers said—

My difficulty with the facility time proposal is not about cost. Boards already see facility time as an investment, and those investments have already been made.27

32. On facility time, the evidence provided to us by CBI Scotland, indicated that the CBI did not take a particular view on this as they considered that this was more a matter for the public sector. Responding in the Public Bill Committee in the House of Commons, the CBI’s Director General stated—

If I may answer that, it is certainly the case that facility time is best agreed between employers and trade unions. It is primarily an issue of concern in the public sector, not in the private sector. This is not a matter that the employers in the private sector that I speak for have strong views on.28

Check-off provisions

What does the Bill propose?

33. Check-off is a system whereby union membership payments are deducted at source from union members’ salaries by their employers and paid over to unions. This provision was not part of the Bill as originally introduced and was added to the Bill at Committee Stage in the House of Commons.29

34. Speaking at the time, the UK Minister for Skills, Nick Boles MP, stated—

Check-off is anachronistic. It dates from a time when most workers did not have bank accounts and direct debit payments did not exist. Nowadays all public sector workers have bank accounts, and trade union subscriptions can very easily be paid by direct debit. Trade unions themselves agree that filling in a direct debit form is a simple and straightforward task.

[…] In any case, there is just no need for the relationship between a trade union and its members to be intermediated by the members’ employer. Trade unions should have a direct subscription relationship with their members, using direct debit like any other modern member-based organisation. The collection and administration of union subscriptions is no business of the employer. It should be a matter for a union and its members to arrange between themselves.

At a time of fiscal consolidation, taxpayer-funded employers providing the important public services that we all rely on should no longer carry unnecessary burdens. These include the burden of administering check-off on behalf of those trade unions that have not yet modernised their subscription arrangements. This in turn puts employers at risk of an employment tribunal claim if they make a mistake when deducting union dues. Where an employer provides a check-off service, it puts itself under a legal obligation to do so in a particular way under the 1992 Act. An employer that makes a mistake can be taken to an employment tribunal. That should not be at the expense of the taxpayer when it could so easily be avoided by making alternative arrangements to check-off.

The majority of civil service employers have already decided to remove check-off, and trade unions affected by those decisions have been successful in making alternative arrangements for their members to pay their subscriptions by other means. The vast majority of their members have switched to direct debit. 30

35. An amendment during Committee Stage in the Public Bill Committee to introduce a requirement for legislative consent from Scottish Government, Welsh Government, Northern Ireland Executive, the Mayor of London and local authorities in England in their areas of responsibility, prior to the abolition of check-off in those areas was not agreed to.31

Evidence taken

36. In its Policy Memorandum, the Scottish Government argues that—

The removal of check-off will have a negative financial impact on trade unions, again, limiting their capacity to engage in workplaces. The provisions of the Bill will require significant resources to be expended reducing the support that unions can provide their members and limiting their ability to support the work of devolved public bodies in Scotland.32

37. Both the witnesses who gave evidence to the Committee from the perspectives of the NHS in Scotland and local government argued that check-off provisions do not represent a burden or substantive costs to them as major employers in relation to the administration of their payroll.

38. Councillor Hendry noted—

In all councils, many different types of deductions are made from salary—for example, for childcare or for the purchase of a bicycle to get to work. That causes us no problems at all and has no financial bearing. We have no issues with making such deductions. As far as I am aware, payroll departments have never flagged up any problems, so I think that changing the system is unnecessary.33

39. Furthermore, in the evidence taken by the Committee, it was not clear at this stage whether the provisions relating to check-off in the public sector, such as in local government, would extend to arms-length bodies set up by local authorities (e.g. Glasgow City Council’s Arms-Length External Organisations (ALEO)). In her evidence to the Committee in support of Councillor Hendry, Jane O’Donnell of COSLA stated—

That is potentially the case, but we need clarity on it. Local authorities have different decision making for different services and it would be difficult for us to deal with that. When colleagues are working in an ALEO, the council will have different arrangements.34

Responsibility for the making of regulations (check-off and facility time provisions)

What does the Bill propose?

40. Clauses 12 to 14 of the Bill contain provisions to create regulation-making powers in respect of paid time off for trade union duties and activities in the public sector, and to prohibit the deduction of union subscriptions (check-off) from wages in the public sector.

41. References in the Bill and Explanatory Notes relating to these regulation-making powers refer to a Minister of the Crown as the person making any orders of this nature. Previously, the reference had been to Secretaries of State but this was amended.

Evidence taken

42. In its Policy Memorandum, the Scottish Government set out its concerns regarding a lack of clarity on which set of ministers has regulation-making powers in clauses 12 to 14. The Scottish Government argues in its Policy Memorandum that clause 13—

… seems to put the responsibility in the hands of UK Ministers, so it may be that the Secretary of State for Scotland would decide whether to regulate in Scotland, or that the Secretary of State for Health would make regulations imposing publication requirements on NHS and other health employers across the UK. In either circumstance this would involve UK Ministers making decisions that would have a direct impact on the operation of public bodies in devolved areas. The Cabinet Secretary has sought as a minimum from [the] UKG [UK Government] the exclusion of Scotland from clauses on Facility Time and ‘Check Off’.35

43. The Scottish Government concludes that the regulation-making powers should be conferred on the Scottish Ministers. It argues that the effect of an amendment of this nature would be that a Legislative Consent Motion would be required on that basis, enabling the “Scottish Parliament to limit the effect of the Bill in Scotland to some extent at least, while continuing to set out in the strongest possible terms the Scottish Government’s opposition to the policy intentions behind the Bill.”36

44. In his evidence to the Committee, Dave Moxham of the STUC indicated that he had raised the issue of the potential impact on devolved competences in meetings he had been involved in with UK Government officials in advance of the Bill’s introduction. He told the Committee that—

There is a question about the level of consultation that was undertaken by the Westminster Government. When we first met Westminster officials about the bill—it was just before they announced the check-off provisions, but the facility time provisions were known—we raised the devolved competency issue with them. At that point, which was more than eight weeks after the bill’s first reading, they had not even considered the issue. It was one of those meetings where lots of scribbling takes place and quizzical eyebrows are raised. It was not a question of Westminster having considered and been ready to discuss the issue; rather, it dropped into their laps and they had not thought about it at all. That is the starting point.37

45. Furthermore, he suggested that comments made by the UK Minister in charge of the Bill – Nick Boles MP, Minister for Skills – to members of the Public Bill Committee in the House of Commons would mean that it would be the responsibility of a UK Minister, such as the UK Secretary of State for Health, to exercise any reserve powers on facility time under clause 13 in the NHS in Scotland. He told the Committee that—

Everything that we have seen so far—I refer back to the letter from Nick Boles—suggests that it will be vested in the relevant UK department, even when that department has a devolved mirror in Scotland. We cannot come to any conclusion other than that the minister for health at Westminster will dictate whether facility time in the NHS in Scotland should be capped.38

46. In the letter to the Public Bill Committee, Nick Boles MP wrote—

It is right that Ministers have the flexibility to propose and, as a last resort, set caps on paid facility time for the sectors and organisations for which they are responsible. This will allow the relevant Minister to make regulations tailored to that. So, for example, the Secretary of State for Health will make regulations imposing publication requirements on NHS and other health employers, and may exercise the reserve powers in relation to them if he considers it appropriate to do so, taking account of the information relating to facility time that they are required to publish.39

47. All three witnesses who gave evidence to the Committee at our meeting on 7 January 2016 – STUC, NHS Scotland and COSLA - supported the proposal to confer regulation-making powers relating to facility time and check-off provisions on the Scottish Government rather than a UK Minister of the Crown.40

48. In its written submission, the Law Society of Scotland commented on this matter, stating—

We would suggest that the Secretary of State be required to consult with the devolved administrations on any proposed regulations, to ensure that full consideration is given to the impact and effect that the Bill’s provisions will have in those separate jurisdictions.41

ECHR matters and other international legal obligations

49. In its submission to the Committee, the Law Society of Scotland noted that whilst the UK Government has issued a statement of compatibility, it believed that a number of questions arise about the Bill’s compatibility with ECHR. It stated—

For example, the statement analyses individual sections of the Bill in relation to ECHR obligations, but does not provide any analysis or statement on the extent to which all the measures, taken together, would satisfy the test of proportionality, or would breach Article 11 of ECHR.42

50. The Law Society also recommended that further consideration be given to whether the Bill’s provisions comply with the European Social Charter, International Labour Organisation standards and the International Covenant on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights.43

Conclusions & Recommendations

Our views on the Trade Union Bill

51. In November 2015, the Scottish Parliament set out its initial opposition to the Trade Union Bill in a vote in the Chamber as part of a Scottish Government-led debate. The Committee reaffirms that position and rejects the general principles of the UK Government’s Trade Union Bill. Alex Johnstone MSP indicated his dissent from this view and the remaining conclusions and recommendations in this section of the report.

52. Recommendation 1 - Consequently, the Committee recommends that the Scottish Government should hold a second debate as a matter of urgency on the findings of our Report to make clear the position of the Scottish Parliament on the Bill to the UK Government before the Bill completes its passage in the UK Parliament.

53. Figures provided to us by the Scottish Government have indicated that, since May 2007, industrial disputes in Scotland have decreased by 84% and that the Scottish trend in days lost to industrial disputes is the lowest of all the UK nations.44 The Committee believes that the Trade Union Bill, if enacted, has the potential to damage industrial relations in Scotland and, as these figures show, there is no evidence that a Bill of this nature is required in Scotland.

54. The Committee notes the conclusions of UK Government’s own Regulatory Policy Committee that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Impact Assessment on the Bill was “not fit for purpose” and that there is insufficient evidence to support the UK Government’s estimate of a 65% reduction in work stoppages. In general, the Regulatory Policy Committee said that the UK Government’s Impact Assessment “lacks evidence to support many of the quoted figures”.45

55. We echo the comments made to us in the evidence of COSLA’s Human Resources Spokesperson, Councillor Billy Hendry, to the Committee that the Trade Union Bill is an “unnecessary and unjustified imposition, which could ultimately lead to more industrial unrest across Scotland”.46

56. Furthermore, the Committee believes that the case has not been made that the provisions on facility time and check-off in particular will lead to any demonstrable savings or efficiencies. We note the comments made to us by representatives from the NHS Scotland and Scotland’s local authorities that the costs of such provisions are negligible and are seen more as an investment in fostering better employer/employee relations and, furthermore, are arrangements that have been willingly entered into by these employers.

57. The evidence we have heard demonstrates that, by and large, industrial relations in Scotland in both the public and private sectors are good and that a culture of partnership working between employers and trade unions has been widely adopted. Both of these would be under threat if this Bill is passed and extended to Scotland.

58. The Committee notes the UK Government’s view that “no legislative consent motions are required because the subject-matter of the Bill is not devolved to the Welsh Assembly or the Scottish Parliament”47.

59. Recommendation 2 – The Committee encourages the UK Government to reconsider its position on legislative consent in light of the evidence the Committee has received.

60. Regardless of whether or not legislative consent provisions apply to this Bill, the Committee is deeply disappointed at the lack of consultation on the impact of the Bill with major public sector employers in Scotland and with other organisations more widely. Of the total 544,700 people employed in the public sector in Scotland (21% of the workforce in Scotland), 89.5% are accounted for by employment in the devolved public sector, with the Scottish Government employing 17,100 FTE staff in Q3 2015.48 As such, their views as major employers with responsibility for industrial relations should have been taken into account by the UK Government.

61. The Committee recognises that the UK Government wishes to pass this Bill and is unlikely, therefore, to heed the call from the Committee and halt the legislative process in the UK Parliament so that the Bill does not become law in any part of the UK.

62. Recommendation 3 – That being the case, the Committee recommends that the UK Government removes Scotland from the territorial extent of the Bill through amendments in the House of Lords at Committee or Report Stage.

63. Recommendation 4 - If the UK Government is unwilling to make such amendments, the Scottish Government should seek to use any means available to it in the House of Lords to encourage the lodging and agreement to such amendments to the Trade Union Bill.

64. Recommendation 5 - Should this process fail, the Committee recommends that, as a minimum, the regulation-making powers relating to facility-time and check-off (clauses 12 to 14 of the Bill as introduced in the House of Lords) should be conferred on the Scottish Ministers as they directly relate to public services in Scotland such as local authorities, the NHS and Police Scotland which are devolved matters. The Committee would therefore call on the Scottish Government to seek to use the process currently underway in the House of Lords to advocate for the relevant amendments to be lodged and agreed.

The need for improved intergovernmental relations and parliamentary oversight and notification

65. More generally, this episode highlights the need for good working relationships between the two governments, where both are seen as equal partners, and for adequate consultation on matters that have an impact on each other’s jurisdiction and competences.

66. From the evidence provided by the Scottish Government in its Policy Memorandum, it is not immediately apparent that intergovernmental relations have been as good as they should be. This is a worrying sign in light of the forthcoming Scotland Bill where effective working relations will be of paramount importance.

67. Additionally, knowledge of this matter and the request for the Committee to look into the Trade Union Bill was made shortly before the previous recess with very little time for the Committee to look at this complex matter before the Bill completed its progress through the UK Parliament.

68. This reinforces the comments that the Committee has made previously in its report on Changing Relationships that there needs to be much better intergovernmental relationships given the changes proposed to the powers of the Scottish Parliament in the Scotland Bill and that parliamentary notification and oversight of the outcome of the discussions between the two governments on a range of matters needs to be vastly improved.

Annexe A – Scottish Government’s Policy Memorandum on the Trade Union Bill

Available at: 

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/20151211_TU_Bill_SG_Policy_Memo.pdf

UK TRADE UNION BILL – POLICY MEMORANDUM

Background

1. Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work Skills and Training, has asked the Further Powers Committee to consider the implications of the UK Government’s Trade Union Bill in Scotland, in the face of the widespread political and civic opposition that has been demonstrated since the Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 15 July 2015. The latest version of the Bill can be found at:

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2015-16/tradeunion.html

2. The reasons why the Scottish Government does not support this Bill are detailed below. The Government also has concerns around the lack of consultation by the UK Government on the proposals set out in the Bill.

Content of the Trade Union Bill

3. The UK Government introduced this legislation with the aim of “reforming trade unions and protecting essential public services against strikes”. The Bill amends the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation Act) Act 1992 as follows:

  • Clauses 2 and 3 set out the requirements for a minimum thresholds of a 50% turnout in all industrial action ballots, and for a higher level of support in favour of industrial action for specified important public services;
  • Clauses 4 to 6 set out information requirements relating to industrial action: the information that must be included in the ballot paper; and information given to union members and to the Certification Officer following a ballot;
  • Clauses 7 and 8 specify the arrangements for the timing and duration of industrial action, requiring two weeksʹ notice of any action to be given to an employer, and providing that a ballot mandate for industrial action expires after four months;
  • Clause 9 sets out requirements on unions for the supervision of picketing;
  • Clauses 10 and 11 replace the current arrangements for a union member to contribute to a unionʹs political fund so that positive consent is required, and places requirements on unions to include more detailed information on expenditure from political funds in the annual return to the Certification Officer;
  • Clauses 12 and 13 create regulation‐making powers in respect of paid time off for trade union duties and activities in the public sector.
  • Clause 14 sets out the prohibition on deduction of union subscriptions from wages in the public sector.
  • Clauses 15 to 18 set out new investigatory powers and sanctions available to the Certification Officer and new arrangements for funding the Certification Clause, and the power of the Certification Officer to impose levy on Trade Unions.
  • Clause 19 sets out minor and consequential amendments.
  • Clause 20 sets out the financial provision of the act.
  • Clauses 21 and 22 set out the extent of the Act and when each section of the act comes into force.
  • Clause 23 sets out the short title.

Provisions Which Will Impact on Scotland

4. Clause 3 of the Bill imposes an additional threshold of 40% of those entitled to vote in the ballot to take industrial action in key public service areas including health services, education of those aged under 17, fire services and transport services. The additional threshold requirement (“at least 40% of those who were entitled to vote in the ballot answered “Yes” to the question”) applies where the majority of those entitled to vote in the ballot are normally engaged in the provision of important public services, or activities that are ancillary to the provision of important public services. Important public services will be specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State and must fall within one of six categories, including the public service areas listed in this paragraph.

5. Clause 12 of the Bill gives the power to require relevant public sector employers to publish information relating to facility time. The information includes the number of such reps by type, percentage of time spent on trade union activities, and information about the employers’ spending on trade union duties, facilities and activities.

6. Clause 13 is a reserve power which will enable UKG Ministers to make regulations for the purpose of imposing a statutory cap in relation to categories of public sector employers for the purpose of constraining:

  • The percentage of the working time that any of its trade union officials can spend on paid facility time and/or
  • The overall proportion of that employer’s pay bill that can be spent on facility time.

7. Clause 14 abolishes check-off in the public sector. Check off is a facility provided by employers for the deduction of trade union members’ subscriptions via payroll which is then paid over by the employer to the Trade Union.

8. The Scottish Government believes that these provisions will have a significant impact on the operations of the Scottish Government in the exercise of their devolved powers. For example, the additional threshold imposed by Clause 3 relates to matters within devolved competence insofar as it relates to health services, education, fire services and certain elements of transport services provided in Scotland. The additional threshold will have a negative impact on trade unions and their members working in the public sector in those devolved areas and it affects the delivery of those public services in Scotland.

9. Restricting facility time is likely to limit the Scottish Government’s ability to work effectively with trade unions on a range of issues as they will not have the capacity to engage.

10. The removal of check-off will have a negative financial impact on trade unions, again, limiting their capacity to engage in workplaces. The provisions of the Bill will require significant resources to be expended reducing the support that unions can provide their members and limiting their ability to support the work of devolved public bodies in Scotland.

Reasons for lodging this memorandum

11. Our Economic strategy outlines our plans to develop a Scotland where everyone can reap the benefits of an inclusive, growing economy. Our commitment to fair work is central to these aspirations. This must be built on a progressive approach to industrial relations that delivers a fairer, more successful society. Trade Unions are key social partners. There is clear evidence that unionised workplaces have more engaged staff, have a higher level of staff training, and a progressive approach to staff wellbeing. Better workplace practices support and nurture greater levels of innovation and productivity. This can have positive impacts not only for businesses but our overall economic competitiveness. They also contribute to our social justice aims as unionised workplaces also tend to have better pay and equality. Since the start of this administration in 2007, industrial disputes in Scotland have decreased by 84%. The Scottish trend in days lost to industrial disputes is the lowest of all the UK nations. If enacted as it is the Bill has the potential to destabilise the balance of the employer/employee relationship. This will make it more difficult for employees to have their voice heard. It will encourage conflict with unions and make employees feel further removed from their working environment

12. We believe that there is a clear opposition to this legislation in Scotland and a furthermore, there is a clear desire for Scotland to be excluded from it. There is little or no evidence to support the Bill proposals – a view shared by the UK Government’s own Regulatory Policy Committee which has described the impact assessments supporting the Bill as ‘not fit for purpose’ and highlights a severe lack of evidence to support the legislation. The UKG has made no attempt to consider the Bill’s impact in Scotland and in particular for Scottish Public Services. On that basis, the Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work Skills and Training wrote to the lead UK Minister of State, Nick Boles, asking that Scotland be excluded from the Bill. That and a subsequent request have so far been ignored by the UK Government.

13. The breadth of opposition to the Bill in Scotland was clearly demonstrated during a debate on the Bill on 10 November, there was a significant majority of support in the Parliament for the motion against the Bill (104 voted for, and 14 against). We are also aware that a significant number of local authorities, Scottish trade unions and other stakeholders (such as NHS Scotland) have made the opposition to the Bill clear. That widespread opposition and the deep concern expressed over the wider impact of the Bill on Scotland’s devolved public authorities and policy landscape confirms the Scottish Government belief that there is a clear case for Scotland to be removed from the Bill.

14. In addition to general opposition to the negative effects of the Bill there are some specific concerns on three devolved areas,. Those are:

  • the responsibility for regulatory powers (clause 13),
  • the impact on public authorities, and
  • the impact on the Agricultural Wages (Scotland) Act 1949

Regulatory Powers

15. On 22 October, Nick Boles, the Minister of State for Skills, wrote to the Public Bill Committee suggesting that Secretaries of State should be given the responsibility to make regulations on facility time in relation to ‘sectors and organisations they have responsibility for’. Consistent with the devolution settlement, Scottish Ministers would be responsible for making these decisions in Scotland, for example, in relation to health services bodies and local authorities. The Bill should be amended to reflect that position and, once done, a Legislative Consent Motion would be needed for the alteration of the executive functions of Scottish Ministers.

16. The Bill was subsequently amended and clause 13 of the Bill now states that a Minister of the Crown may exercise the reserve powers to make regulations on facility time if they consider it appropriate to do so. Scottish Government officials have sought clarification from BIS on how these reserve powers are intended to apply to Scotland on devolved issues, but this has not been provided.

17. This clause seems to put the responsibility in the hands of UK Ministers, so it may be that the Secretary of State for Scotland would decide whether to regulate in Scotland, or that the Secretary of State for Health would make regulations imposing publication requirements on NHS and other health employers across the UK. In either circumstance this would involve UK Ministers making decisions that would have a direct impact on the operation of public bodies in devolved areas. The Cabinet Secretary has sought as a minimum from UKG the exclusion of Scotland from clauses on Facility Time and ‘Check Off’.

18. If the Bill were to be amended as we have requested and the regulation making powers conferred on the Scottish Ministers a Legislative Consent Motion would be required on that basis. This would enable the Scottish Parliament to limit the effect of the Bill in Scotland to some extent at least, while continuing to set out in the possible strongest terms the Scottish Government’s opposition to the policy intentions behind the Bill.

Impact on Public Authorities

19. There will likely also be wider impacts on public authorities in Scotland, which are largely devolved. In particular, the impact on the assets of public authorities, including their employment contracts and good industrial relations.

20. Part III of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act (which trumps specific reservations in Part II) provides that Scottish public authorities with mixed functions are not reserved, and so fall within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament. The most important of these are local authorities.

21. Such bodies are devolved as regards their constitution, including their establishment and dissolution, their assets and liabilities, and their funding and receipts.

22. In addition, Scottish public authorities with no reserved functions (such as Health Boards) – which deal with matters entirely within the devolved sphere - fall within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament.

23. The assets of a Scottish public authority include its buildings and equipment, but also incorporeal assets such as contracts, including employment contracts (particularly those for key staff) and good industrial relations.

24. Whilst clauses 7 and 8 of the Bill do not change the terms or conditions of employment contained in an employment contract, they do change the framework within which such employment contracts are made and operated, and so affect a matter within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament.

25. In addition, clause 13 of the Bill confers power on a Minister of the Crown to make regulations applying to relevant public sector employers and containing any provision that the Minister considers appropriate for the purpose of ensuring that a person’s working time cannot include more than a specified percentage of paid facility time or ensuring that the employer’s pay bill for facility time does not exceed a specified percentage. This power is therefore wide enough to affect the terms of employment which a Scottish public authority can offer, thereby affecting an asset of that authority.

26. The Scottish Government therefore considers that the material impact on public authorities should be something about which the views and consent of the Parliament should be sought.

Impact on Provision of Important Public Services in Scotland

27. Clause 3 confers power on the Secretary of State to make regulations specifying “important public services” that fall within categories including: health services, education of those aged under 17; fire services; and transport services, meaning that the additional threshold requirement of 40% will apply in order for industrial action to be taken in those key service areas. This power is wide enough to affect and have a negative impact on trade unions and their members who work in the public sector in Scotland in the important public services.

28. Put baldly, the purpose is to maintain the provision of essential public services, such as health services. But the provision of health services in Scotland is a matter within the responsibilities of Scottish Ministers. Therefore, clause 3 relates to the provision and delivery of public services in Scotland in areas in which such provision is devolved.

Consultation

29. The UK Government has held open consultation on three aspects of the Bill:

  • Ballot thresholds in important public services

available at - https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/ballot-thresholds-in-important-public-services

  • Hiring agency staff during strike action: reforming regulation

available at - https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hiring-agency-staff-during-strike-action-reforming-regulation

  • Tackling intimidation of non-striking workers

available at - https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/tackling-intimidation-of-non-striking-workers

30. A response has been published to the consultation on tackling intimidation of non-striking workers (the Government response is included in the link above), and changes have been made to the UK Government approach as a result. The Scottish Government has not responded formally to these consultations, but the Cabinet Secretary has written to the Minister of state on a number of occasions to detail our concerns with the Bill proposals.

31. However, the UK Government has made no attempt at any point before introduction, to discuss the impact of this legislation on Scotland. The Lead Bill Committee took evidence from the Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work and Grahame Smith of the STUC, and a short call has taken place between the Cabinet Secretary and the Minister of State, but that was well after the introduction on the Bill. The Cabinet Secretary has firmly put forward not only the Scottish Government concerns but highlighted the wide spread opposition in Scotland in particular from the Scottish Public Services sector.

Financial Implications

32. The UK Government has used financial efficiency as one of the justifications for the Bill. One area this has applied to is the abolition of check off in the public sector. For the Scottish Government there is a nominal cost of facilitating the check off process and therefore its abolition in itself would offer limited savings to the public purse.

33. This is one of a number of areas where we believe the case for the legislation is flawed as there in no clear evidence for the supposed benefits being set out. This is not just the view of the Scottish Government. The UK Government’s Regulatory Policy Committee has described the impact assessments that support the bill as “not fit for purpose” and highlights a severe lack of evidence to support the legislation.

Conclusion

34. We conclude that there is clear and widespread opposition to this legislation in Scotland. The Scottish Government do not believe that the UK Trade Union Bill will bring any benefit to the people of Scotland and instead, will have a negative impact on Scottish public authorities, trade unions and the delivery of public services in Scotland.

35. It is the Scottish Government view that the best solution would be for the UK Government to devolve industrial relations to the Scottish Parliament, but ask that at the very least the UK Government remove Scotland from the territorial extent of the Bill.

36. The Scottish Government asks the Scottish Parliament to consider the arguments set out in Memorandum and on this basis, make a recommendation to the UK Government that Scotland should be removed from the extent of the Bill to that it should be amended appropriately in order to ensure the Bill’s provisions should not undermine the generally positive industrial relations climate in Scotland nor restrict the wider activities of trade unions in Scotland.

37. The Scottish Parliament has already voiced strong opposition to this legislation in Scotland in its debate on 10 November and much viewed the legislation as impacting on devolved competence.

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT

11 December 2015

Annexe B – Extracts from the minutes of the meetings of the Committee and links to the Official Reports

1st Meeting, 2016 (Session 4)
Thursday 7 January 2016

Present:

Malcolm Chisholm
Bruce Crawford (Convener)
Linda Fabiani
Rob Gibson
Alex Johnstone
Alison Johnstone
Stewart Maxwell
Mark McDonald
Stuart McMillan
Duncan McNeil (Deputy Convener)
Tavish Scott

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee agreed to take item 3 in private and to consider a draft report on its consideration of the Trade Union Bill 2015-16 in private at future meetings.

2. Trade Union Bill 2015-16: The Committee took evidence from—

Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary, Scottish Trades Union
Congress;
Shirley Rogers, Director of Health Workforce, NHS Scotland;
Councillor Billy Hendry, Spokesperson on Human Relations, and Jane
O'Donnell, Policy Manager, Employer Team, Convention of Scottish Local
Authorities.

3. Trade Union Bill 2015-16 (in private): The Committee considered the evidence heard earlier in the meeting.

Written evidence

CBI Scotland
Dave Moxham, STUC
Law Society of Scotland
Lesley McDade

The written evidence from the above organisations and individuals will appear on this webpage:
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/94994.aspx

Official Report of the Meeting of 7 January 2016
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=10298


Any links to external websites in this report were working correctly at the time of publication. However, the Scottish Parliament cannot accept responsibility for content on external websites

Footnotes:

1 Trade Union Bill 2015-16. Available at: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2015-16/tradeunion.html

2 House of Commons Library, Trade Union Bill, Briefing Paper No 7295. Available at http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7295/CBP-7295.pdf

3 Explanatory notes, paragraph 9, Available at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2015-2016/0058/en/16058en04.htm

4 Scottish Parliament, Official Report, 10 November 2015, col 86.

5 Scottish Government, Policy Memorandum on the Trade Union Bill, paragraph 27.

6 Scottish Government, Policy Memorandum on the Trade Union Bill, paragraph 34.

7 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 2.

8 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 3.

9 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 4.

10 Public Bill Committee, House of Commons,, 13 October 2015, col 5-6.

11 Scottish Government, Policy Memorandum on the Trade Union Bill, paragraph 30-31.

12 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 13.

13 House of Commons Library, Trade Union Bill, Briefing Paper No 7295. Page 19. Available at http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7295/CBP-7295.pdf

14 Explanatory notes, page 4, paragraph 17, Available at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2015-2016/0058/en/16058en04.htm

15 UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Impact Assessment. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/445514/BIS-15-418-IA-40_-threshold.pdf

16 Scottish Government, Policy Memorandum on the Trade Union Bill, paragraph 8.

17 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 18.

18 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 18.

19 CBI, written submission of evidence to the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

20 CBI, written submission of evidence to the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

21 House of Commons Library, Trade Union Bill, Briefing Paper No 7295. Page 62. Available at http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7295/CBP-7295.pdf

22 House of Commons Library, Trade Union Bill, Briefing Paper No 7295. Page 101. Available at http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7295/CBP-7295.pdf

23 Sunday Times, 20 December 2015

24 Scottish Government, Policy Memorandum on the Trade Union Bill, paragraph 9.

25 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 6.

26 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 10.

27 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 10.

28 Public Bill Committee, House of Commons, 13 October 2015, col 17.

29 House of Commons Library, Trade Union Bill, Briefing Paper No 7369, Page 29. Available at: http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7369/CBP-7369.pdf

30 Public Bill Committee, House of Commons, 27 October 2015, col 405-406.

31 House of Commons Library, Trade Union Bill, Briefing Paper No 7369, Page 32.

32 Scottish Government, Policy Memorandum on the Trade Union Bill, paragraph 10.

33 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 22.

34 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 27.

35 Scottish Government, Policy Memorandum on the Trade Union Bill, paragraph 17.

36 Scottish Government, Policy Memorandum on the Trade Union Bill, paragraph 18.

37 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 8.

38 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, cols 25-26.

39 Letter from Nick Boles MP to the Chair of the Trade Union Bill Public Bill Committee, dated 19 October 2015.

40 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 29.

41 Law Society of Scotland, written submission to the Committee.

42 Law Society of Scotland, written submission to the Committee.

43 Law Society of Scotland, written submission to the Committee.

44 Scottish Government, Policy Memorandum on the Trade Union Bill, paragraph 11.

45 Regulatory Policy Committee, Opinion reference number: RPC15-BIS-2402, August 2015.

46 Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Official Report, 7 January 2016, col 5.

47 Trade Union Bill, Explanatory Notes, page 17. Available at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2015-2016/0058/en/16058en04.htm

48 Scottish Government, Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Statistics for 3rd Quarter 2015. Available at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/12/5714

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