Trade Union Act 2016

Citation2016 c. 15
JurisdictionUK Non-devolved


Trade Union Act 2016

2016 CHAPTER 15

An Act to make provision about industrial action, trade unions, employers’ associations and the functions of the Certification Officer.

[4th May 2016]

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:—

Introduction

Introduction

S-1 Meaning of “the 1992 Act”

1 Meaning of “the 1992 Act”

In this Act “the 1992 Act” means the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

Ballot thresholds for industrial action

Ballot thresholds for industrial action

S-2 Ballots: 50% turnout requirement

2 Ballots: 50% turnout requirement

(1) In section 226 of the 1992 Act (requirement of ballot before action by trade union), in subsection (2)(a), after sub-paragraph (ii) insert—

“(iia) in which at least 50% of those who were entitled to vote in the ballot did so, and”.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any ballot opened before the day on which this section comes into force.

For this purpose a ballot is “opened” on the first day when a voting paper is sent to any person entitled to vote in the ballot.

S-3 Ballots: 40% support requirement in important public services

3 Ballots: 40% support requirement in important public services

(1) In section 226 of the 1992 Act, in subsection (2)(a)(iii), for “the majority voting in the ballot” substitute “the required number of persons (see subsections (2A) to (2C))”.

(2) After subsection (2) of that section insert—

“(2A) In all cases, the required number of persons for the purposes of subsection (2)(a)(iii) is the majority voting in the ballot.

(2B) There is an additional requirement where the majority of those who were entitled to vote in the ballot are at the relevant time normally engaged in the provision of important public services, unless at that time the union reasonably believes this not to be the case.

(2C) The additional requirement is that at least 40% of those who were entitled to vote in the ballot answered “Yes” to the question.

(2D) In subsection (2B) “important public services” has the meaning given by regulations made by statutory instrument by the Secretary of State.

(2E) Regulations under subsection (2D) may specify only services that fall within any of the following categories—

(a) health services;

(b) education of those aged under 17;

(c) fire services;

(d) transport services;

(e) decommissioning of nuclear installations and management of radioactive waste and spent fuel;

(f) border security.

(2F) No regulations shall be made under subsection (2D) unless a draft of them has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.”

(3) This section does not apply to any ballot opened before the day on which this section comes into force.

For this purpose a ballot is “opened” on the first day when a voting paper is sent to any person entitled to vote in the ballot.

Electronic balloting

Electronic balloting

S-4 Provision for electronic balloting: review and piloting scheme

4 Provision for electronic balloting: review and piloting scheme

(1) The Secretary of State shall commission an independent review, the report of which shall be laid before each House of Parliament, on the delivery of secure methods of electronic balloting for the purpose of ballots held under section 226 of the 1992 Act (requirement of ballot before action by trade union).

(2) The use of pilot schemes shall be permitted to inform the design and implementation of electronic balloting before it is rolled out across union strike ballots.

(3) The Secretary of State must consider the report and publish and lay before each House of Parliament his or her response to it.

(4) For the purpose of preparing the response under subsection (3), the Secretary of State must consult relevant organisations including professionals from expert associations to seek their advice and recommendations.

(5) The review under subsection (1) shall be commissioned within six months of the passing of this Act.

Information requirements relating to industrial action

Information requirements relating to industrial action

S-5 Information to be included on voting paper

5 Information to be included on voting paper

(1) In section 229 of the 1992 Act (voting paper), after subsection (2A) insert—

“(2B) The voting paper must include a summary of the matter or matters in issue in the trade dispute to which the proposed industrial action relates.

(2C) Where the voting paper contains a question about taking part in industrial action short of a strike, the type or types of industrial action must be specified (either in the question itself or elsewhere on the voting paper).

(2D) The voting paper must indicate the period or periods within which the industrial action or, as the case may be, each type of industrial action is expected to take place.”

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any ballot opened before the day on which this section comes into force.

For this purpose a ballot is “opened” on the first day when a voting paper is sent to any person entitled to vote in the ballot.

S-6 Information to members etc about result of ballot

6 Information to members etc about result of ballot

(1) In section 231 of the 1992 Act (information as to result of ballot), for the words after “all persons entitled to vote in the ballot” substitute “are told—

(a) the number of individuals who were entitled to vote in the ballot,

(b) the number of votes cast in the ballot,

(c) the number of individuals answering “Yes” to the question, or as the case may be, to each question,

(d) the number of individuals answering “No” to the question, or as the case may be, to each question,

(e) the number of spoiled or otherwise invalid voting papers returned,

(f) whether or not the number of votes cast in the ballot is at least 50% of the number of individuals who were entitled to vote in the ballot, and

(g) where section 226(2B) applies, whether or not the number of individuals answering “Yes” to the question (or each question) is at least 40% of the number of individuals who were entitled to vote in the ballot.”

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any ballot opened before the day on which this section comes into force.

For this purpose a ballot is “opened” on the first day when a voting paper is sent to any person entitled to vote in the ballot.

S-7 Information to Certification Officer about industrial action etc

7 Information to Certification Officer about industrial action etc

(1) After section 32 of the 1992 Act (annual return) insert—

“32ZA Details of industrial action etc to be included in annual return

(1) If industrial action was taken during any return period in response to any inducement on the part of a trade union, the union’s return under section 32 for that period shall set out—

(a) the nature of the trade dispute to which the industrial action related;

(b) the nature of the industrial action;

(c) when the industrial action was taken.

(2) If a trade union held a ballot during any return period in respect of industrial action, the union’s return under section 32 for that period shall contain the information mentioned in section 231 (information as to result of ballot).

(3) In this section “return period” means a period for which a trade union is required to send a return to the Certification Officer under section 32.”

(2) Subsection (1) applies only to returns for periods that begin after the day on which this section comes into force.

Timing and duration of industrial action

Timing and duration of industrial action

S-8 Two weeks’ notice to be given to employers of industrial action

8 Two weeks’ notice to be given to employers of industrial action

(1) In section 234A of the 1992 Act (notice to employers of industrial action), in subsection (4), for paragraph (b) substitute—

“(b) ending with the 14th day before the starting date, or the seventh day before that date if the union and the employer so agree.

In paragraph (b) “starting date” means the day, or the first of the days, specified in the relevant notice.”

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any industrial action in relation to which the employer receives a relevant notice before the day on which this section comes into force.

“Relevant notice” here has the same meaning as in section 234A of the 1992 Act (see subsection (3) of that section).

S-9 Expiry of mandate for industrial action

9 Expiry of mandate for industrial action

(1) In section 234 of the 1992 Act (period after which ballot ceases to be effective), for subsection (1) substitute—

“(1) Industrial action that is regarded as having the support of a ballot shall cease to be so regarded at the end of the period, beginning with the date of the ballot—

(a) of six months, or

(b) of such longer duration not exceeding nine months as is agreed between the union and the members’ employer.

(1A) Subsection (1) has effect—

(a) without prejudice to the possibility of the industrial action getting the support of a fresh ballot; and

(b) subject to the following provisions.”

(2) Subsection (1) and paragraphs 13 and 14 of Schedule 4 do not apply to any industrial action the ballot for which opened before the day on which this section comes into force.

For this purpose a ballot is “opened” on the first day when a voting paper is sent to any person entitled to vote in the ballot.

Picketing

Picketing

S-10 Union supervision of picketing

10 Union supervision of picketing

(1) In section 219 of the 1992 Act (protection from certain tort liabilities), in subsection (3), for the words after “actionable in tort” substitute “unless—

(a) it is done in the course of attendance declared lawful by section 220 (peaceful picketing), and

(b) in the case of picketing to which section 220A applies, the requirements in that section...

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