Balloting for and employer notification of industrial action

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Balloting for and employer notification of industrial action
  • Balloting
  • Before the ballot
  • Conduct of the ballot
  • Requirements for the voting paper
  • Electronic balloting
  • Ballot participation and support thresholds
  • After the ballot
  • Calling industrial action
  • When industrial action has the support of a ballot
  • More...

Balloting for and employer notification of industrial action

In order to have statutory immunity from tortious liability, some acts by a trade union will have to satisfy both the more general statutory conditions (see Practice Note: The right to take industrial action—Statutory immunity from liability), and also the various specific statutory requirements relating to:

  1. balloting (see: Balloting below)

  2. calling industrial action (see: Calling industrial action below), and

  3. employer notification of industrial action (see: Employer notification of industrial action below)

The Secretary of State issued a Code of Practice on Industrial Action Ballots and Notice to Employers in 2005. It provides guidance on good practice in the conduct of industrial action ballots and was revised with effect from 1 March 2017 to take into account the changes introduced by the Trade Union Act 2016 (TUA 2016). The Code is not legally binding but it is admissible as evidence and relevant provisions may be taken into account in proceedings before a court, tribunal or the Central Arbitration Committee.

Balloting

An act by a trade union to induce a person to take part in industrial action will only have statutory immunity from tortious liability if it has the support of a ballot which complies with a number of specified requirements, whether before, during or after the ballot.

Before the ballot

A trade union:

  1. must ballot all members of the union who it is

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