The Social Partnership Bill was announced by First Minister Mark Drakeford on 09 July 2019, who told the Welsh Assembly it would deliver “new approaches and new actions to drive up the quality of work and access to employment rights”.
The legislation closely mirrors the proposals of the Manifesto for Labour Law, which was instrumental in the development of recommendations made by the Fair Work Commission, on which the Bill is largely based.
What the Bill says
Details are yet to be published, but according to Drakeford’s announcement, the Bill aims to bolster the tripartite working between government, employers and workers to improve workers’ rights and strengthen the economy.
The First Minister promised to:
- establish a new government department to oversee the promotion of collective bargaining – the Office for Fair Work;
- enact Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010, which imposes a duty on the public sector to promote socio-economic equality;
- tighten public procurement rules so that only contractors who provide fair work to their staff will be considered for public contracts;
- create an effective enforcement mechanism for employment law and collective agreements.
All of these proposals are also made in the Manifesto for Labour Law, although time will tell as to whether our experts’ recommendations are seen through in the detail of the legislation.
Where we are
The Social Partnership Bill is yet to be published, but Wales’ Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James, has accepted all 48 of the Fair Work Commission’s recommendations on principle.
Fair Work Commission recommends…
Wales to launch
Collective bargaining and Fair Work at the heart
labour law and the fair work agenda