My business is located over two sites, about ten minutes walk away from each other. Workers on Site A have informed us they will be commencing strike action. Fortunately, Site B workers will not be.
During the strike, we intend to use some of the Site B workers to cover the Site A work. Is this OK? Can I use agency workers to cover Site Bs work?
Firstly, as long as the employment contract allows for the staff to be moved between sites, and perform other duties (if Site As work differs to Site Bs), then there is no legal reason why you would not be able to move staff around in order to continue operating during strike action.
However, since 10 August 2023, it is no longer possible for 'Employment Businesses' (more commonly known as job agency's) to supply workers to cover a strike where they know this is the case. Those that do could face potential enforcement action under the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 and fines.
It's important to note that this applies even in cases such as yours, where the agency workers would not be directly covering for striking workers, but instead backfilling the work of your own staff who have been reallocated to cover for their striking colleagues.