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Trade Union Bill introduced 15/07/2015 The Government has introduced the controversial Trade Union Bill, which will reform the UK’s strike laws.

Trade Union Bill introduced

The Government has introduced the controversial Trade Union Bill, which will reform the UK’s strike laws. The legislation aims to balance the right to strike with the right of people to be able to go about their daily lives and work.

The reforms include a 50% threshold for ballot turn-out and an additional threshold of 40% of support to take industrial action from all members eligible to vote in the key health, education, fire, transport, border security and nuclear decommissioning sectors – including the Border Force.

According to the Government, this will ensure that strikes are the result of a clear and positive democratic mandate from union members: upholding the right to strike while reducing disruption to millions of people.

Other provisions will:

  • set a 4 month time limit for industrial action so that mandates are always recent
  • require a clear description of the trade dispute and the planned industrial action on the ballot paper, so that all union members are clear what they are voting for
  • bring in greater scrutiny and controls over taxpayer-funded subsidies to trade unions (so-called ‘facility time’), such as full-time trade union representatives
  • create a transparent process for trade union subscriptions that allows members to make an active choice of paying into political funds
  • put in place safeguards to ensure non-striking members of a workforce are able to go about their business without fear of intimidation.

A number of consultations have also been published. These cover the proposed introduction of a 40% threshold for important public sectors; reforming and modernising the rules and code of practice on picketing and protests linked to industrial disputes, and the repeal of a ban on the use of agency workers. The consultations will be open until 9th September 2015.

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