The Trade Union Act 2016, which came into force on 1 March 2017,
aims to "protect millions of people from the effect of
undemocratic strike action".
The Act establishes that before unions can call an official
strike there will have to be:
50% turnout of eligible union members; and
A majority of union members voting in favour of the strike
If these requirements are not met, the industrial action will
not be protected by law and if it proceeds then it can be stopped
by an interdict.
Additionally, in public services including in the health,
education, fire, transport and border security sectors there is an
additional threshold of 40% of support from all eligible members
which must be met for the action to be legal.
Unions are now also required to:
Provide employers with a minimum of 14 days' notice before
industrial action occurs; this has been increased from the previous
requirement of 7 days
Ensure that industrial action occurs within six months to
ensure that the mandates are always recent
Provide clearer and more detailed information to members so
they know exactly what they are voting for
Report more detailed information regarding the industrial
action and the ballot results
Ensure peaceful industrial action by supervising picket
Implement an opt-in system for new members to contribute to
that union's political fund within 12 months
These provisions are aimed at ensuring that if strike action
does go ahead it will only be as a result of a clear democratic
decision from union members, rather than an impassioned minority.
The aim of the Act is to reduce the amount of time and money lost
due to industrial action. The UK Government propose that it will
prevent more than 1.5 million working hours being lost to strike
action each year and boost the economy by £10 million a
MacRoberts' employment group is the longest established
specialist team in Scotland. We are known for using our practical
and effective approach to find solutions for our clients. In an
area of law that continually evolves, our team of accredited
specialists works to ensure our proactive advice is tailored for
our clients' strategic needs.
The material contained in this article is of the nature of
general comment only and does not give advice on any particular
matter. Recipients should not act on the basis of the information
in this e-update without taking appropriate professional advice
upon their own particular circumstances.
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In SSE Generation Limited v Hochtief Solutions AG and another decided on 21st December 2016, the Court of Session in Scotland considered a contractor's potential design liability under the NEC Form of Contract.
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