To: Will Quince MP, Minister of State for Health and Secondary Care
From: Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery Health and Social Care, Michael Matheson MSP
Thank you for your letter of 6 November 2023, informing me of the laying of regulations for NHS ambulance and patient transport services under the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023.
I was pleased to see the regulations will not be applied in Scotland. As I have maintained since the Act was first introduced to the Westminster Parliament, this law represents an assault on worker’s rights. The Scottish Government’s position is that a progressive approach to industrial relations, built on greater, not fewer, protections for workers, is at the heart of a fairer society and prosperous economy.
This Act is in direct contradiction to that progressive approach. It ignores the devolution settlement and fails to recognise the authority of the Scottish Government in devolved areas. The Scottish Government believes this iniquitous Act should be repealed.
For now, I understand the regulations covering hospital-based services will be laid soon, and I trust that the precedent of non-application in Scotland will be followed for these regulations.