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New Trade Union Bill- draft proposals

31st July 2015
In the most recent Queen's Speech the Government announced that it intended to introduce legislation changing the voting requirements for strike action, and other measures relating to Union action.$0$0$0$0In a recent press release the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has set out the main features of the proposed draft Trade Union Bill, although the text of the draft Bill has not been published yet.$0$0$0$0$0A number of proposals are set out in the press release. These include a requirement that at least 50% turnout of eligible trade union members should have voted in the industrial action ballot. In addition there is a proposal that for workers in "important public services", (which includes those in health, education, transport, border security, fire services, and the energy sector) there is an additional threshold that action will only be permitted if at least 40% support is achieved. $0$0$0$0$0Further proposals include the requirement to provide additional information on the voting paper, which will have to give "a clear description of the trade dispute and the planned industrial that all union members are clear what they are voting for." It will also need to specify what other type of industrial action is proposed if a strike is not proposed. Further information will also be required about the ballot results, and it is proposed that union members should be told about the number of individuals entitled to vote, whether the number of votes cast in the ballot is at least 50% of the number of people entitled to vote, where the additional important public services threshold applies, and whether or not the number voting in favour of action is at least 40% of those eligible voters. There are also proposals to introduce additional requirements for picketing to be lawful.$0$0$0$0$0There is also a proposal that a requirement is introduced to provide for an "opt-in" to a union's political fund, in place of the current "opt-out" provision.  $0$0$0$0$0The press release also indicates that there will be a consultation on repealing the current ban on employment agencies providing agency workers to replace those taking industrial action. The consultation exercises proposed in the release will run until September 2015. $0$0$0$0$0At Hallett Employment Law Services Ltd we can provide you with advice on the matters raised in this article, if you need such advice do not hesitate to contact us.              $0
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