On 1 March 2017 the groundbreaking Trade Union Act 2016 came into force.

But what are its main provisions? What changes will it entail?

Highlights of the new legislation include:

  • 50% ballot participation threshold
  • 40% “important public services” ballot support threshold (meaning 40% of eligible voters must be in favour of the strike)
  • Ballot papers must describe intended industrial action
  • 2 weeks notice must be given of industrial action
  • 6 months limit on ballot mandate before action can be taken
  • Union supervision of picketing
  • Positive consent for political fund contributions
  • Changes to rules around public sector union facility time
  • New restrictions on public sector union subscription deductions
  • Requirement to provide more detailed information about ballot results.

What about important public services?

  • most public medical services
  • most public transport and closely ancillary services (but not international rail services)
  • teaching services at state schools and academies (for students aged 16-19 only)
  • firefighting services
  • border control services

Separate regulations define what important public services are. In these cases a 40% ballot threshold will need to be reached, in addition to the 50% turnout threshold.

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Updates: For employers: Trade unions |
Tagged with: Strikes |

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