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Figures Reveal Rise in Number of Days Lost to Labour Disputes

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has recently published an analysis of labour disputes that took place in the UK during 2016.

The figures show that in 2016:

  • There were 322,000 working days lost due to labour disputes, which is more than in 2015 (170,000) and the eighth lowest annual total since records began in 1891.
  • The increase in working days lost in 2016, compared with 2015, was partly attributable to a dispute involving junior doctors in the National Health Service in England, which accounted for 129,000 working days lost (around 40% of the total working days lost for 2016).
  • The private sector saw more stoppages, but the public sector once again had more working days lost than the private sector.
  • There were 154,000 workers involved in labour disputes; this figure is higher than the record low figure of 81,000 recorded for 2015 but low compared to historical levels.
  • The main cause of industrial action, in terms of working days lost, was duration and patterns of hours worked, which accounted for 134,800 working days lost (41.8% of all working days lost in 2016). The majority of these days were attributable to a dispute involving junior doctors in the National Health Service in England.
  • In terms of the number of workers involved, the main cause of industrial action in 2016 was redundancies, which accounted for 86,100 workers (55.9% of all workers involved in industrial action in 2016).

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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