UK

Employment law does not need to be devolved under Labour government – Rayner

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said employment law does not need to be devolved (James Manning/PA)
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said employment law does not need to be devolved (James Manning/PA) Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said employment law does not need to be devolved (James Manning/PA)

The SNP’s call for devolved employment laws is not needed, Angela Rayner has insisted, amid Labour’s ‘new deal’ for workers.

The deputy Labour leader met apprentices in Glasgow as she set out her party’s plans to enhance workers’ rights.

They include protection against unfair dismissal, sick pay from day one and banning zero-hour contracts and fire and rehire policies.

However, the SNP called on the opposition party to “commit to devolving employment law to Holyrood immediately”.

The calls come amid the passing of the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill which introduces provisions for the minimum requirement for emergency services, education and transport services during industrial action.

In a Tweet on Thursday morning, First Minister Humza Yousaf said of Labour’s plans: “I would remind Angela Rayner that we have engaged constructively with trade unions. That is why we haven’t had any NHS strikes in Scotland, in stark comparison to Labour-run Wales.

“Will Labour commit to full devolution of employment law should they form the next government?”

During her visit to the Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries Training College on Thursday, Ms Rayner said: “They won’t need it because I want employment law across the whole of the United Kingdom to be uplifted and better. That’s why we’ve got a new deal for working people.

“I want a new deal for working people to be here in Scotland so we have those protections of employment law.”

She added employment practices would be “in effect across the board” rather than split off across the four UK nations.

And she said she did not want to see “disparities” across the different parts of the UK.

David Linden comments
David Linden comments SNP MP David Linden (Andrew Milligan/PA)

In response to Ms Rayner’s comments on employment law, the SNP’s social justice spokesman at Westminster, David Linden, said: “With regressive policies like the anti-strike Bill, it is clear workers’ rights are under a concerted attack.

“Neither the Tories or Labour at Westminster can be trusted to protect these hard-fought rights. Power over employment law must be handed to Scotland’s Parliament where workers’ rights can be defended and strengthened under progressive leadership.

“Labour once proudly brandished itself the party of the workers. How far they have fallen under Sir Keir Starmer, that they would rather the rights of Scottish workers were ripped up by Westminster, than protected at Holyrood.”