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Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Act 2023

The Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Act 2023 (‘the Act’) provides a framework to promote the well-being of the people of Wales by enhancing sustainable development (including by improving public services) through social partnership working, promoting fair work and socially responsible procurement. The Act includes provisions for:

  • the establishment of a Social Partnership Council;
  • a statutory duty on certain public bodies to seek consensus or compromise with their recognised trade unions (or where there is no recognised trade union) other representatives of their staff, when setting their well-being objectives and delivering on those objectives under section 3(2) of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, 2015 (‘WFG Act 2015’);
  • a statutory duty on the Welsh Ministers to consult social partners, employers and worker representatives through the Social Partnership Council when delivering on their well-being objectives under section 3(2)(b) of the WFG Act 2015;
  • amending section 4 of the WFG Act 2015 by substituting ‘fair work’ for ‘decent work’ within the existing “A prosperous Wales” goal;
  • a statutory duty on certain public bodies to consider socially responsible public procurement when carrying out procurement, to set objectives in relation to well-being goals, and to publish a procurement strategy;
  • certain public bodies to carry out contract management duties to ensure that socially responsible outcomes are pursued through supply chains;
  • reporting duties to be imposed on the public bodies and the Welsh Ministers in relation to the Social Partnership Duty and Procurement duty.

The Senedd produced a Bill Summary, which provides a further useful overview, and the Explanatory Notes to the Act provide detailed commentary on the various provisions.

Coming into force:

Section 48 of the Act came into force on 25 May 2023, which is the day after it received Royal Assent, in accordance with section 48(1) of the Act. The remaining provisions of the Act will come into force when the Welsh Ministers make one or more commencement orders, in accordance with section 48(2) and (3) of the Act. The following order has been made:

The Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Act 2023 (Commencement No. 1) Order 2023

Subordinate legislation made under the Act:

No subordinate legislation has been made under this Act.

Consideration of the legislation by the Senedd:

The Bill was introduced by Hannah Blythyn MS, Deputy Minister for Social Partnership on 7 June 2022 and passed by Senedd Cymru on 14 March 2023. More information about the Act is available on the Senedd’s website, including a record of the passage of the Bill through the Senedd and the Explanatory Memorandum which was prepared by the Welsh Government (as revised after Stage 2).

The Act received Royal Assent on 24 May 2023.

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Published on
Last updated
10 November 2023