Industrial action—guidance for employees

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

  • Industrial action—guidance for employees
  • Right to a ballot
  • Liability of individual members
  • Other consequences of industrial action

Industrial action—guidance for employees

Although industrial action is often seen primarily as a battle between an employer and a trade union, it must be remembered that:

  1. the union is only acting on behalf of its members, and

  2. there may be significant consequences for individual members as a result of industrial action. In some cases, industrial action may even lead to dismissal with no right to complain of unfair dismissal

Right to a ballot

Ultimately, it is a matter for an individual employee to choose whether he wishes to take part in industrial action called by his union. However, where a trade union seeks to involve its members in industrial action that does not have the support of a ballot (see Practice Note: Balloting for and employer notification of industrial action) an individual union member has a specific statutory remedy:

If a union member can show that members of the union, including himself, are likely to be, or have been, induced by the union to take part, or continue to take part, in industrial action which does not have the support of a ballot (whether because no ballot was held, or the various requirements relating to balloting were not complied with, or for some other reason), the Court will make such order as it thinks appropriate to get the union to ensure that:

  1. there is no, or no further,

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