NEW strike legislation set to be introduced by Rishi Sunak will reportedly allow employers to sue unions and sack workers.

The Times reports that the Prime Minister is preparing to announce legislation to enforce “minimum service levels” in six sectors, including the health service, rail, education, fire and border security.

The newspaper reports that the laws could be announced on Thursday and would require a proportion of union members to carry on working to retain a “minimum level” of service.

A government source said that strikes would be made illegal should unions refuse to provide the minimum level.

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More nursing strikes are set to take place in England at the end of January while Network Rail workers are set to walk out again on Friday and Saturday.

ScotRail has already confirmed it will be running additional services following Monday and Tuesday’s industrial action.

Employers would be able to sue unions, and those who were instructed to work the minimum service requirement but refuse to do so could be sacked.

The source told the newspaper: “The legislation will remove the legal immunity for strikes where unions fail to implement a minimum level of service.

“The strikes will be illegal. Ultimately people could be fired for breach of contract.”

However, a government spokesman said that it was “not our intention to penalise individuals” and that the legislation was intended to ensure essential services were protected.

In response to the proposed legislation, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said: "If you say that people can't take industrial action - which is what the Government is now threatening - the idea that that's going to produce outcomes and reduce delays for patients, that's just for the birds."

The newspaper also reports that trade unions are prepared to take legal action over the plans.

Tim Sharp, a senior employment rights officer at the TUC, said: “The Conservative government’s plans would be a significant curb on working people’s fundamental right to strike to defend their pay, terms and conditions.

“The measures are unworkable, counterproductive and almost certainly in breach of the Human Rights Act 1998. They can expect unions to fight in this parliament and in the courts.”

The minimum level of service required for each sector would need to be agreed between unions and the government.

If no agreement is reached, it will go to arbitration and a specific level may ultimately be imposed by ministers.

Other measures under discussion include doubling the minimum notice period for industrial action from 14 days as well as reducing the six-month limit for industrial action following a successful ballot.

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A government spokesman said: “Ministers continue to explore further measures to help minimise disruption and protect the public but no decisions have been taken.

“Any legislation we do bring forward will aim to safeguard the rights of the public to get on with their daily lives and be kept safe, while recognising the rights of workers to strike.

“It is not our intention to penalise individual members for striking and we will make this clear; this is about ensuring that the public can expect that essential services will be protected during industrial action.”

The news comes following the Prime Minister’s speech on Wednesday, where he set out five pledges setting out his Government’s priorities for the year ahead.