LABOUR'S deputy leader has been slammed for refusing to support the devolution of employment law to Scotland.

Responding to the SNP’s call for employment law to be devolved to Holyrood, Keir Starmer's deputy Angela Rayner insisted it was unnecessary during a visit to Glasgow.

She claimed that Labour’s “new deal” for workers would be enough, setting out the party’s plans to protect against unfair dismissal, banning zero hour contracts and fire and rehire policies, as well as introducing sick pay from day one.

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However, the SNP’s social justice spokesperson David Linden said that under Starmer the party would rather the rights of Scottish workers were “ripped up by Westminster, than protected at Holyrood”.

It comes after the UK Government passed the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill which introduces provisions for the minimum requirement for emergency services, education and transport services during industrial action.

First Minister Humza Yousaf also challenged Rayner to commit to full devolution for employment law ahead of her visit, pointing out that Scotland had avoided any NHS strikes - unlike Labour-run Wales.

During her visit to the Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries Training College on Thursday, Rayner said: “They won’t need it because I want employment law across the whole of the United Kingdom to be uplifted and better. That’s why we’ve got a new deal for working people.

The National:

“I want a new deal for working people to be here in Scotland so we have those protections of employment law.”

She added employment practices would be “in effect across the board” rather than split off across the four UK nations.

And Rayner said she did not want to see “disparities” across the different parts of the UK.

In response to her comments, SNP MP Linden said: “Labour and the Tories have worked hand-in-glove for years to block the devolution of employment law to Scotland. Instead, Westminster has focused its efforts on imposing an agenda of austerity that Scotland didn’t vote for.

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“With regressive policies like the Anti-Strike Bill, it is clear workers’ rights are under a concerted attack.

“Neither the Tories or Labour at Westminster can be trusted to protect these hard-fought rights. Power over employment law must be handed to Scotland’s Parliament where workers’ rights can be defended and strengthened under progressive leadership.

Linden (below) said that Labour once “proudly brandished itself” as the party of the workers.

“How far they have fallen under Sir Keir Starmer, that they would rather the rights of Scottish workers were ripped up by Westminster, than protected at Holyrood,” he added.

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“With the full powers of independence, we can escape this broken Westminster system, strengthen workers’ rights and enshrine them into Scotland’s written constitution for good.”

We told how international politicians condemned the introduction of the anti-strike bill, which means that employers would be able to demand staff show up for work even if their union was taking industrial action, due to the minimum service level requirements imposed by the legislation.

The UK Government was warned that the bill would put the UK in breach of European human rights rules.

We also told how all six of Scotland’s Tory MPs voted to ensure the UK Government’s legislation also impacts workers north of the Border.