Employment Protection Act 1975

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1975 c. 71


Employment Protection Act 1975

1975 CHAPTER 71

An Act to establish machinery for promoting the improvement of industrial relations; to amend the law relating to workers' rights and otherwise to amend the law relating to workers, employers, trade unions and employers' associations; to provide for the establishment and operation of a Maternity Pay Fund; to provide for the extension of the jurisdiction of industrial tribunals; to amend the law relating to entitlement to and recoupment of unemployment benefit and supplementary benefit; to amend the Employment Agencies Act 1973 as respects the exercise of licensing functions under that Act; to amend the Employment and Training Act 1973 as respects the status of bodies established, and the powers of the Secretary of State, under that Act; to amend the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 as respects the appointment of safety representatives, health and safety at work in agriculture, the status of bodies established and the disclosure of information obtained under that Act; to provide for the extension of employment legislation to certain parliamentary staff and to certain areas outside Great Britain; and for connected purposes.

[12th November 1975]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Machinery for Promoting the Improvement of Industrial Relations

Part I

Machinery for Promoting the Improvement of Industrial Relations

Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, etc.

Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, etc.

S-1 Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

1 Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

(1) There shall be a body to be known as the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, in this Act referred to as ‘the Service’.

(2) The Service shall be charged with the general duty of promoting the improvement of industrial relations, and in particular of encouraging the extension of collective bargaining and the development and, where necessary, reform of collective bargaining machinery.

(3) The provisions (so far as applicable) of Parts I and III of Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the Service.

S-2 Conciliation

2 Conciliation

(1) Where a trade dispute exists or is apprehended the Service may, at the request of one or more parties to the dispute or otherwise, offer the parties to the dispute its assistance with a view to bringing about a settlement.

(2) The assistance offered by the Service may be by way of conciliation or by other means, and may include the appointment of a person other than an officer or servant of the Service to offer assistance to the parties to the dispute with a view to bringing about a settlement.

(3) In exercising its functions under subsection (1) above, the Service shall have regard to the desirability of encouraging the parties to a dispute to use any appropriate agreed procedures for negotiation or the settlement of disputes.

(4) The Service shall designate officers of the Service to perform the functions of conciliation officers under any enactment (including any provision of this Act or any Act passed after this Act) in respect of matters which are or could be the subject of proceedings before an industrial tribunal, and accordingly any reference in any such enactment to a conciliation officer is a reference to an officer designated under this subsection.

S-3 Arbitration.

3 Arbitration.

(1) Where a trade dispute exists or is apprehended the Service may, at the request of one or more parties to the dispute and with the consent of all the parties to the dispute, refer all or any of the matters to which the dispute relates for settlement to the arbitration of—

(a ) one or more persons appointed by the Service for that purpose (not being an officer or servant of the Service); or

(b ) the Central Arbitration Committee constituted under section 10 below.

(2) In exercising its functions under subsection (1) above, the Service shall consider the likelihood of the dispute being settled by conciliation and, where there exist appropriate agreed procedures for negotiation or the settlement of disputes, shall not refer a matter for settlement to arbitration under that subsection unless those procedures have been used and have failed to result in a settlement or unless, in the opinion of the Service, there is a special reason which justifies arbitration under that subsection as an alternative to those procedures.

(3) Where in any case more than one arbitrator is appointed under subsection (1)(a ) above the Service shall appoint one of the arbitrators to act as chairman.

(4) An award by an arbitrator appointed under subsection (1)(a ) above may be published if the Service so decides and all the parties consent.

(5) Part I of the Arbitration Act 1950 shall not apply to an arbitration under this section.

(6) In the application of this section to Scotland, references to an arbitrator shall be construed as references to an arbiter.

S-4 Advice.

4 Advice.

(1) The Service shall, if it thinks fit, on request or otherwise, provide, without charge, to employers, employers' associations, workers and trade unions such advice as it thinks appropriate on any matter concerned with industrial relations or employment policies, including the following—

(a ) the organisation of workers or employers for the purpose of collective bargaining;

(b ) the recognition of trade unions by employers;

(c ) machinery for the negotiation of terms and conditions of employment, and for joint consultation;

(d ) procedures for avoiding and settling disputes and workers' grievances;

(e ) questions relating to communication between employers and workers;

(f ) facilities for officials of trade unions;

(g ) procedures relating to the termination of employment;

(h ) disciplinary matters;

(i ) manpower planning, labour turnover and absenteeism;

(j ) recruitment, retention, promotion and vocational training of workers;

(k ) payment systems, including job evaluation and equal pay.

(2) The Service may publish general advice on any matter concerned with industrial relations or employment policies, including any of the matters referred to in paragraphs (a ) to (k )of subsection (1) above.

S-5 Inquiry.

5 Inquiry.

(1) The Service may, if it thinks fit, inquire into any question relating to industrial relations generally or to industrial relations in any particular industry or in any particular undertaking or part of an undertaking.

(2) The findings of any inquiry under this section, together with any advice given by the Service in connection with those findings, may be published by the Service if—

(a ) it appears to the Service that publication is desirable for the improvement of industrial relations, either generally or in relation to the specific question inquired into; and,

(b ) after sending a draft of the findings to, and taking into account the views of, all the parties appearing to the Service to be concerned, the Service thinks fit.

S-6 Codes of Practice.

6 Codes of Practice.

(1) The Service may issue Codes of Practice containing such practical guidance as the Service thinks fit for the purpose of promoting the improvement of industrial relations.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above, the Service shall, in one or more Codes of Practice, provide practical guidance on the following matters in relation to the application of the following provisions of this Act, that is to say—

(a ) the disclosure of information, in accordance with sections 17 and 18 below, by employers to trade union representatives for the purpose of collective bargaining;

(b ) the time off to be permitted by an employer—

(i) to a trade union official in accordance with section 57 below; and

(ii) to a trade union member in accordance with section 58 below.

(3) When the Service proposes to issue a Code of Practice, it shall prepare and publish a draft of that Code, shall consider any representations made to it about the draft and may modify the draft accordingly.

(4) If the Service determines to proceed with the draft, it shall transmit the draft to the Secretary of State who shall—

(a ) if he approves of it, lay it before both Houses of Parliament; and

(b ) if he does not approve of it, publish details of his reasons for withholding approval.

(5) In the case of a draft Code of Practice containing practical guidance on the matters referred to in paragraph (a ) or (b ) of subsection (2) above, if the draft is approved by resolution of each House of Parliament the Service shall issue the Code in the form of the draft and the Code shall come into effect on such day as the Secretary of State may by order appoint.

(6) In the case of a draft Code of Practice not containing such practical guidance, if, within the period of forty days beginning with the day on which a copy of the draft is laid before each House of Parliament, or, if such copies are laid on different days, with the later of the two days, either House so resolves, no further proceedings shall be taken thereon, but without prejudice to the laying before Parliament of a new draft.

(7) In reckoning the period of forty days...

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