Trade union act in force from 1st March01/03/17
The main provisions of the Trade Union Act 2016 (the Act) come into effect today, 1 March 2017. The Act introduces significant changes to trade union powers and the right to strike. The changes coming into force this month include:
- The requirement that 50% of those eligible to vote in a ballot turn out to vote;
- The additional requirement for those who work in “important public services”, including healthcare, that 40% of those entitled to vote must vote in favour of the action;
- A requirement that unions give 14 days’ notice of industrial action (extended from the previous 7 days);
- Changes to the picketing requirements;
- Unions to provide more detailed information relating to ballot outcomes.
- A power to make regulations to require unions to make a reasonable payment to an employer for the operation of a check-off system.
Also in force from 1 March are the Important Public Services (Health) Regulations which set out details of which workers will be deemed to carry out such services
There is currently no confirmed date for the bringing into force of the remainder of the Act, or for the abolition of the provisions preventing the use of agency workers to replace striking employees. These latter provisions had originally been expected to come into force in advance of the Act.