Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1974 c. 52


Trade Union and LabourRelations Act 1974

1974 CHAPTER 52

An Act to repeal the Industrial Relations Act 1971; to make provision with respect to the law relating to trade unions, employers' associations, workers and employers, including the law relating to unfair dismissal, and with respect to the jurisdiction and procedure of industrial tribunals; and for connected purposes.

[31st July 1974]

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:—

Repeal of Industrial Relations Act

Repeal of Industrial Relations Act

S-1 Repeal of Industrial Relations Act 1971 and re-enactment of certain provisions.

1 Repeal of Industrial Relations Act 1971 and re-enactment of certain provisions.

(1) The Industrial Relations Act 1971 is hereby repealed.

(2) Nevertheless, Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect for re-enacting, with amendments consequential on the following sections of this Act and other amendments, the under-mentioned provisions of that Act, that is to say—

(a ) Part I of that Schedule so re-enacts sections 2 to 4 (code of practice);

(b ) Part II of that Schedule so re-enacts sections 22 to 33 (unfair dismissal);

(c ) Part III of that Schedule so re-enacts sections 100, 106, 116, 118 and 159 and Schedule 6 (jurisdiction and procedure of industrial tribunals and other provisions with respect to those tribunals); and

(d ) Part IV so re-enacts sections 146, 148, 149, 150, 151, 155, 161 and 162 (conciliation officers, and miscellaneous and supplementary provisions).

(3) The repeal by this section of the following provisions of the 1971 Act, that is to say, sections 7(2) and (3), 11 to 18, 31, 32, 37 to 55, 76, 77, 99, 101 to 105, 111, 112, 114, 115, 129, 136, 138 to 145 and 160 and Schedule 1 (jurisdiction, functions and constitution of the National Industrial Relations Court) shall take effect on the passing of this Act and on the passing of this Act that Court is hereby abolished.

Status and regulation of trade unions and employers' associations

Status and regulation of trade unions and employers' associations

S-2 Status of trade unions.

2 Status of trade unions.

(1) A trade union which is not a special register body shall not be, or be treated as if it were, a body corporate, but—

(a ) it shall be capable of making contracts;

(b ) all property belonging to the trade union shall be vested in trustees in trust for the union;

(c ) subject to section 14 below, it shall be capable of suing and being sued in its own name, whether in proceedings relating to property or founded on contract or tort or any other cause of action whatsoever;

(d ) proceedings for any offence alleged to have been committed by it or on its behalf may be brought against it in its own name; and

(e ) any judgment, order or award made in proceedings of any description brought against the trade union on or after the commencement of this section shall be enforceable, by way of execution, diligence, punishment for contempt or otherwise, against any property held in trust for the trade union to the like extent and in the like manner as if the union were a body corporate.

(2) A trade union which is not a special register body shall not be registered as a company under the Companies Act 1948 and accordingly any registration of any such union under that Act (whenever effected) shall be void.

(3) No trade union shall be registered under the Friendly Societies Act 1896 or the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 and accordingly any registration of a trade union under either of those Acts (whenever effected) shall be void.

(4) A trade union (other than a special register body) which, immediately before the commencement of this section, was a body corporate shall, on that commencement, cease to be a body corporate and the provisions of section 19 below (as well as this section and section 4 below) shall apply to the trade union on and after that commencement.

(5) The purposes of any trade union which is not a special register body and, in so far as they relate to the regulation of relations between employers or employers' associations and workers, the purposes of any trade union which is such a body, shall not, by reason only that they are in restraint of trade, be unlawful so as—

(a ) to make any member of the trade union liable to criminal proceedings for conspiracy or otherwise; or

(b ) to make any agreement or trust void or voidable;

nor shall any rule of a trade union which is not a special register body or, in so far as it so relates, any rule of any other trade union be unlawful or unenforceable by reason only that it is in restraint of trade.

S-3 Status of employers' associations.

3 Status of employers' associations.

(1) An employers' association may be either a body corporate or an unincorporated association.

(2) Where an employers' association is unincorporated—

(a ) it shall be capable of making contracts;

(b ) all property belonging to the employers' association shall be vested in trustees in trust for the association;

(c ) subject to section 14 below, it shall be capable of suing and being sued in its own name, whether in proceedings relating to property or founded on contract or tort or any other cause of action whatsoever;

(d ) proceedings for any offence alleged to have been committed by it or on its behalf may be brought against it in its own name; and

(e ) any judgment, order or award made in proceedings of any description brought against the employers' association on or after the commencement of this section shall be enforceable, by way of execution, diligence, punishment for contempt or otherwise, against any property held in trust for the employers' association to the like extent and in the like manner as if the association were a body corporate.

(3) Any employers' association which became a body corporate by virtue of section 74 of the 1971 Act shall cease to be a body corporate by virtue of that section at the expiration of the period of six months beginning with the commencement of this section and the provisions of section 19 below (as well as this section and section 4 below) shall apply to it on and after the expiration of that period, unless before the expiration of that period it has again become a body corporate.

(4) Nothing in section 434 of the Companies Act 1948 (associations of over twenty members for certain purposes must be incorporated or otherwise formed in special ways) shall be taken to prevent the formation of an employers' association which is neither registered as a company under that Act nor otherwise incorporated.

(5) The purposes of an unincorporated employers' association and, in so far as they relate to the regulation of relations between employers and workers or trade unions, the purposes of an employers' association which is a body corporate, shall not, by reason only that they are in restraint of trade, be unlawful so as—

(a ) to make any member of the association liable to criminal proceedings for conspiracy or otherwise; or

(b ) to make any agreement or trust void or voidable;

nor shall any rule of an unincorporated employers' association or, in so far as it so relates, any rule of an employers' association which is a body corporate be unlawful or unenforceable by reason only that it is in restraint of trade.

S-4 Supplementary provisions about property of trade unions and unincorporated employers' associations.

4 Supplementary provisions about property of trade unions and unincorporated employers' associations.

(1) Sections 39 and 40 of the Trustee Act 1925 and sections 38 and 39 of the Trustee Act (Northern Ireland) 1958 (vesting of property on retirement of trustee or appointment of new trustee) shall, in their application to trustees in whom any property is vested in trust for a trade union or an unincorporated employers' association to which this subsection applies, each have effect as if for any reference to a deed there were substituted a reference to an instrument in writing and as if in subsection (4) of section 40 of the said Act of 1925 and of section 39 of the said Act of 1958 paragraphs (a ) and (c ) were omitted.

(2) Subsection (1) above applies to a trade union (other than a special register body) and to an unincorporated employers' association whose name is (in either case) for the time being entered in the list of trade unions or of employers' associations under section 8 below.

(3) An instrument in writing appointing a new trustee of a trade union or unincorporated employers' association to which subsection (1) above applies is referred to in this section as an ‘instrument of appointment’ and an instrument in writing discharging a trustee of such a union or association is referred to as an ‘instrument of discharge’; and for the purposes of this section (and the sections of the Acts of 1925 and 1958 applied by subsection (1) above), where a trustee of such a union or association is appointed or discharged by a resolution taken by or on behalf of the union or association, the written record of the resolution shall be treated as if it were the instrument in writing appointing or, as the case may be, discharging that trustee.

(4) Where by any enactment or instrument the transfer of securities of any description is required to be effected or recorded by means of entries in a register, then, if—

(a ) there is produced to the person who is authorised or required to keep the register, a copy of an instrument of appointment or of an instrument of discharge which contains or has attached to it a list identifying the securities of that description held in trust for the union or association to which the instrument relates at the date of the...

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