Industrial action reform

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The Government yesterday published a new Trade Union Bill, along with three separate consultation documents on ballot thresholds in important public services, hiring agency staff during industrial action and tackling intimidation of non-striking workers. 

The proposed changes include:

  • a new requirement that at least 50% of union members entitled to vote must turn out for a strike ballot
  • if the strike affects important public services, 40% of all eligible voters must vote in favour of the strike
  • removing the current ban on employers using agency workers to cover striking workers
  • setting a 4 month time limit on a strike mandate, after which another ballot is required
  • more specific requirements for the wording of the ballot paper
  • banning automatic opt-ins to political donations from trade union subscription fees
  • increasing the amount of notice of a strike from 7 to 14 days
  • enshrining some of the principles in the Code of Practice on picketing into law, including the requirement that unions appoint a picketing supervisor
  • requiring unions to publish their picketing and protest plans in advance
  • modernising the law on picketing to cover intimidation of non-strikers via social media

Have your say

The consultations are open until 9 September 2015. EEF will be responding to the consultations.  If you have any comments or would like to get involved, please email Tim Thomas.

Find out more

Our Employee Relations team will deliver briefings on the implications of the new Trade Union Bill at locations across the UK.

Author

National Head of Employee Relations

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