Government must reconsider Draconian strike legislation after Lords amendments, says BMA

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: UK
Published: Thursday 8 June 2023
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Responding to the House of Lords passing amendments to the Strikes Bill1, BMA representative body chair Dr Latifa Patel said:

“The right for staff to organise, act collectively and fight for better pay and conditions is a key tenet of a free democracy and a basic human right.

“We already have some of the tightest restrictions on trade union activity in Europe, and with this Bill the Government is trying to stifle workers’ rights further.

“Rather than focusing on strike days, ministers should be concentrating on making sure that health services are safely staffed for the rest of the year. Further grinding down health workers with threatening and punitive laws will drive more of them towards the door, making existing staffing shortages far worse. This is a completely counterproductive move from Government.

“While we have been consistent that this Bill should be rejected in its entirety, we’re glad that the Lords have pushed back on important elements of this Draconian legislation and hope the Government seriously reconsiders when it returns for debate in the Commons.”


Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

  1. The amendments that passed are intended to ensure that:
    - powers to set minimum service levels cannot be exercised by the Government without an assessment of their impact and consultation with trade unions and other parties;
    - an employee cannot be dismissed or suffer detriment due to failing to comply with a work notice;
    - unions are protected from litigation or loss of protection due to their action or inaction regarding advice they give to members on complying with work notices.
  2. For full details and voting results see