Industrial action—guidance for employers
Industrial action—guidance for employers

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

  • Industrial action—guidance for employers
  • Conciliation
  • Withdrawal of pay
  • Injunctive relief
  • Damages
  • Dismissal

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: Brexit and IP completion day—implications for employment lawyers.

Industrial action is potentially very disruptive for an employer’s business. Hopefully, a union will use industrial action as a last resort, and other solutions will be found instead to any collective trade disputes between the employer and its workers.

However, in some instances, employers will face at least a serious threat of industrial action, whether in the form of a strike or some action short of a strike. In those circumstances, the employer has a number of options:


An employer faced with industrial action may seek to reach a conciliated solution, with the assistance of Acas if appropriate.

Withdrawal of pay

If workers take strike action, the employer is not obliged to pay them for the period they refuse to work. If they take action short of a strike which involves them failing to perform their full contractual duties, they may lose their entitlement to

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