Employment rights and trade unions

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

  • Employment rights and trade unions
  • Right not to be refused employment
  • Right not to be offered inducement
  • Right not to be subjected to detriment
  • Right not to be dismissed
  • Employment agency services

Employment rights and trade unions

An employee or prospective employee has a number of rights relating to his employment that arise as a result of his union membership status. These rights arise whether:

  1. he is a current member of a trade union (union member)

  2. wishes to become a union member, or

  3. even if he is not a union member, and does not wish to become one

These rights effectively seek to prevent employers from operating what is often referred to as a ‘closed shop’:

  1. an individual has the right not to be refused employment because he is, or is not, a union member (see Right not to be refused employment below)

  2. a worker has the right not to be subjected to any detriment by his employer for the purpose of preventing or deterring him from becoming, or from ceasing to be, a union member (see Practice Note: Right not to be subjected to detriment below)

  3. an employee has the right not to be dismissed because he is, or is not, a union member (see Right not to be dismissed below)

An individual also has certain rights in relation to an employment agency (see: Employment agency services below).

Other individual rights connected with employment, such as those relating to trade union duties and activities, those relating to trade union recognition, and those arising under collective agreements are discussed elsewhere

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