The Trade Union Act 2016
The Trade Union Act 2016

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

  • The Trade Union Act 2016
  • Development and status of the Act
  • Public sector facility time—new regulations
  • Certification officer role changes
  • European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) issues
  • Equality analysis
  • Proposal to allow use of agency workers during disputes

The Trade Union Act 2016 (TUA 2016) includes a number of significant and controversial changes to the legal landscape affecting trade unions and industrial action. This Practice Note:

  1. outlines the development and status of TUA 2016

  2. provides details of the changes which have not yet been brought into force

The government's proposal to ban the use of agency workers during industrial disputes is also considered.

Development and status of the Act

In the Queen's Speech 2015 the Government announced that it would bring forward a Trade Union Bill which would introduce:

  1. a requirement for more than 50% of a union’s members to vote in order for a strike ballot to be valid (and retain the requirement for there to be a simple majority of votes in favour)

  2. time limits on a mandate following a ballot for industrial action

  3. a requirement that 40% of those entitled to vote must vote in favour of industrial action in certain essential public services (eg health, education, fire, transport)

  4. measures to tackle intimidation of non-striking workers during a strike

  5. a transparent opt-in process for the political fund element of trade unions subscriptions (to reflect the existing practice in Northern Ireland)

  6. unspecified changes to the role of the Certification Officer

For further information, see our report of 27 May 2015.

The Trade Union Bill was published on 15 July 2015. The TUC described it as

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