The High Court has today ruled that the Government’s Agency Worker Regulations are unlawful following a successful legal challenge by 13 Unions, of which the POA was one. The ‘strike breaking regulations’ were brought in last summer and allowed employers to replace staff undertaking industrial action with agency workers.

The High Court ruled that the Government failed to consult with Unions, as required under the Employment Agencies Act 1973 and quashed the 2022 changes.

The High Court stated that the changes brought were ‘so unfair as to be unlawful, and, indeed, irrational.’ They went on to say that the Government changes were brought about after ‘advice indicated that the changes would be of negligible short- term benefit and probably counterproductive.’

Steve Gillan, General Secretary of the POA said;

“Once again, this Government have been found guilty of breaching the law. The Government’s track record of Anti Trade Union legislation will continue to be challenged by this Union and others in conjunction with the TUC.”

Mark Fairhurst, National Chair of the POA said;

“This is just another example of legislation being driven by ideology of those in power and not reasonableness. Although this legislation would have had minimal effect on our members, it was important that we stood alongside the wider Trade Union movement in challenging this pernicious law. It is hoped that brother and sister Trade Unions will stand alongside the POA in our continued fight to restore our right to strike, denied us since 1994.”


For further information, contact:
POA Press Office 020 8803 0255 Option 7

Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.