Employment Law Bulletin March 2017

Thursday 16 March 2017

New Trade Union Act

The major provisions of the Trade Union Act 2016 came into force on 1 March, 2017. This means that from now on industrial action ballots will only be lawful if at least 50 per cent of those being balloted cast a vote. Where the majority of those being balloted are engaged in ‘important public services’ then there is an additional requirement that at least 40 per cent of those entitled to vote, vote ‘yes’. That means that if there are 100 union members (let’s keep the maths simple), then a 26-25 vote in favour of industrial action will be sufficient in most cases but a 40-10 vote (or better) will be needed in cases involving those key services.