A number of provisions of the Trade Union Act 2016 are coming into force on 1st March 2017. 

Strikes and industrial action have been a hot topic recently. Post Office workers, baggage handlers and check-in staff at airports and train workers have all staged walkouts in the last few months, causing widespread media coverage and grumbling and dissatisfaction from those trying to use their services.

In brief, the most notable provisions coming into effect are:

New ballot thresholds for industrial action

Currently the law only requires a simple majority for a ballot for industrial action to be successful, but it does not set out the turnout. Under this Act, at least 50% of eligible members must turn out for an industrial action ballot, with a majority being in favour of industrial action. Additionally, in the event that the industrial action affects important public services, 40% of all those entitled to vote must vote in favour.

Notice

Employers must be given two weeks’ notice of industrial action, rather than the current 7 days.

Picketing

In order for picketing to be lawful, the Union must appoint a “picket supervisor”. This supervisor must be an official or other member of the Union who is familiar with the provisions of the Code of Practice of Picketing.

Restrict the mandate for strike action

Currently, industrial action needs be called within 4 weeks of the date of the ballot (8 weeks if this has been agreed by the trade union and employer). As long as this occurs, there is no deadline on how long the ballot remains live.

This new Act says that that ballot mandates will expire after 6 months (this can be extended by a further 3 months with the agreement of the employer). After these deadlines have expired, a new ballot will be required.

Information requirements

The Act also sets out information that needs to be on the ballot paper, given to union members about the result and provided to the Certification Officer.

To find out more about these provisions and how they affect your business or organisation, call our Employment Law Advisers for easy-to-follow advice and guidance.

Find what you were looking for?

Our FREE resources library contains over 200 searchable blogs, guides and templates focused around Employment Law and Health & Safety issues that employers face on a day-to-day basis.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Before you go…

We can help with that HR problem or health and safety query. If you’re an employer, leave your details below and our team will call you back.

Register your interest

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch.

Get your FREE consultation

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch.

Download your FREE guide

Submit your details below.

Request a callback

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch.

Need some help?

Call our team now on:

01244 668 182

Request a Callback

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch.

Request a Callback
Hi, how can we help?
Click the button below to chat to an expert.

Get your FREE consultation

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch.