LRD Booklets September 2017

Taking industrial action - a legal guide

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Introduction

Introduction
 [pages 5-6] (538 words)

When the government decided to enact the Trade Union Act 2016, described by the TUC as “the most serious attack on the rights of trade unions and ...
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Chapter 1

1. The framework of industrial action law
 [ch 1: pages 7-8] (599 words)

Under UK law, there is no positive legal right to strike, or to take any other form of industrial action. Unions can be held legally liable for what ...
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The immunities
 [ch 1: pages 8-9] (291 words)

Compensation for breaching the immunities
 [ch 1: page 9] (231 words)

Groups banned from striking
 [ch 1: page 9] (78 words)

What constitutes ‘industrial action’
 [ch 1: page 10] (89 words)

Strikes
 [ch 1: page 10] (66 words)

Action short of strike
 [ch 1: page 10] (63 words)

Working to rule
 [ch 1: page 10] (160 words)

Overtime ban
 [ch 1: pages 10-11] (353 words)

Leafleting campaign
 [ch 1: pages 11-12] (233 words)

Industrial disputes in the prison service
 [ch 1: pages 12-14] (908 words)

Lockouts
 [ch 1: pages 14-16] (695 words)

Chapter 2

2. Trade Union Act 2016 – key changes
 [ch 2: page 17] (303 words)

Before 1 March 2017, UK strike laws were already among the most restrictive in the developed world. Nevertheless, on that date these laws became even ...
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Changes to industrial action rules
 [ch 2: pages 17-18] (274 words)

New powers for the certification officer
 [ch 2: page 18] (214 words)

Temporary agency workers
 [ch 2: page 19] (75 words)

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
 [ch 2: pages 19-20] (434 words)

Chapter 3

3. What is a trade dispute?
 [ch 3: pages 21-22] (566 words)

Only industrial action “in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute” can be lawful, so employers wanting to halt action by means of an ...
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Trade dispute must be with workers’ own employer
 [ch 3: pages 22-23] (657 words)

Trade dispute must already exist
 [ch 3: page 23] (100 words)

Only ‘workers’ can lawfully strike
 [ch 3: page 24] (344 words)

Chapter 4

4. When industrial action is ‘official’
 [ch 4: pages 25-26] (874 words)

A union will only be liable in relation to the relevant economic torts (see Chapter 1) if that union has authorised or endorsed the industrial ...
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Chapter 5

5. The rules on conducting and reporting on ballots
 [ch 5: page 27] (179 words)

For unions to have the benefit of the “immunities” in relation to industrial action (see Chapter 1), there must have been a ballot meeting strict ...
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Ballot thresholds


 [ch 5: pages 27-28] (306 words)

What are important public services?
 [ch 5: pages 28-30] (741 words)

The ILO and the 40% threshold
 [ch 5: pages 30-31] (565 words)

The ballot process


 [ch 5: page 31] (94 words)

Conducting the ballot
 [ch 5: pages 31-33] (863 words)

Establishing who is entitled to vote
 [ch 5: pages 33-34] (443 words)

Accidental failure
 [ch 5: pages 34-36] (622 words)

Announcing the result
 [ch 5: page 36] (306 words)

Requirements to notify employers 


 [ch 5: pages 36-39] (1,106 words)

Online balloting in strike ballots
 [ch 5: pages 39-40] (377 words)

New limited life of ballot mandate

 [ch 5: page 40] (188 words)

Annual reporting of industrial action
 [ch 5: page 41] (214 words)

Chapter 6

6. Picketing
 [ch 6: page 42] (429 words)

Peaceful picketing is covered by sections 220 and 220A of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992 (TULRCA). The picketing rules ...
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Picket supervisor
 [ch 6: page 43] (366 words)

Letter of authorisation
 [ch 6: pages 43-44] (368 words)

What to wear
 [ch 6: page 44] (86 words)

Functions
 [ch 6: pages 44-45] (299 words)

Picket location
 [ch 6: pages 45-46] (547 words)

How many can picket?
 [ch 6: pages 46-47] (346 words)

Threats to control wider protest and union use of social media
 [ch 6: page 47] (215 words)

Criminal and civil sanctions
 [ch 6: page 48] (299 words)

Chapter 7

7. Ban on supplying temporary agency workers in strikes
 [ch 7: pages 49-50] (509 words)

Since 1973, there has been a ban on the supply by employment businesses of temporary agency workers to replace striking workers who are participating ...
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Chapter 8

8. Dismissal of striking workers
 [ch 8: page 51] (97 words)

Members who take part in official industrial action (that is, action endorsed or authorised by the union) have some limited protection from dismissal. ...
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Scenario 1 – dismissal during official, balloted industrial action
 [ch 8: pages 51-52] (599 words)

Scenario 2 – dismissal during official but unballoted industrial action
 [ch 8: page 52] (71 words)

Scenario 3 – dismissal during unofficial industrial action
 [ch 8: page 53] (114 words)

Exceptions to the ban on unfair dismissal claims
 [ch 8: page 53] (93 words)

“Taking part”
 [ch 8: pages 5354] (544 words)

Detriment short of dismissal
 [ch 8: pages 54-55] (174 words)

No more tribunal fees
 [ch 8: page 55] (71 words)

Chapter 9

9. Injunctions
 [ch 9: page 56] (251 words)

The injunction (interdict in Scotland) is the most popular legal remedy sought by employers. An injunction is a court order to do or refrain from ...
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Who can sue
 [ch 9: page 56] (37 words)

Legal action by a member of the public
 [ch 9: page 56] (133 words)

Legal action by a union member
 [ch 9: page 57] (231 words)

Injunction application by the government
 [ch 9: page 57] (262 words)

Legal consequences of an injunction
 [ch 9: page 58] (266 words)

Chapter 10

10. Effect of striking on terms and conditions
 [ch 10: page 59] (54 words)

Going on strike (or being locked out by the employer) will not break someone’s continuity of employment (section 216, Employment Rights Act 1996 ...
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Pay
 [ch 10: pages 59-60] (598 words)

Pay and action short of a strike
 [ch 10: pages 60-61] (285 words)

State benefits for strikers
 [ch 10: page 61] (237 words)

Chapter 11

11. Union responses to the Trade Union Act
 [ch 11: page 62] (174 words)

It is early days to assess the impact of the Trade Union Act 2016 (TUA 16), affecting all ballots called on or after 1 March 2017. However, there ...
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The new ballot thresholds
 [ch 11: pages 62-63] (293 words)

Large-scale disputes
 [ch 11: page 63] (452 words)

Financial support for strikers
 [ch 11: page 64] (218 words)

Getting the vote out
 [ch 11: pages 64-65] (398 words)

Limit to the ballot life
 [ch 11: page 65] (376 words)

Extra information on the ballot paper
 [ch 11: page 66] (164 words)

Leverage campaigns
 [ch 11: pages 66-67] (482 words)

Visible protest
 [ch 11: pages 67-68] (413 words)

Rise in unofficial action?
 [ch 11: page 68] (98 words)

Rise in strategic litigation?
 [ch 11: page 68] (60 words)

Chapter 12

12. The effect of international laws and conventions
 [ch 12: pages 69-71] (1,171 words)

When deciding cases, UK courts and tribunals must comply with judgments of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
 ...
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Industrial action and human rights
 [ch 12: pages 71-73] (928 words)

Further information

Further Information
 (509 words)

The Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992, along with the other legislation referred to in this booklet, can be downloaded from www. ...
Subscribers only