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Commencement of the Trade Union Act 2016

The new rules under the Trade Union Act 2016 (“the Act”) will come into force on 01 March 2017 and will apply to industrial action starting on or after that date.

The main provisions to note from the Act are:

  • At least 50% of all eligible members must have voted in a strike ballot.
  • For industrial action for specified important public services (e.g. health, education and transport), in addition to minimum turnout requirements, the majority voting in favour must constitute at least 40% of those eligible to vote.
  • The ballot paper must contain more information about the matters in dispute and the planned industrial action.
  • Ballots for industrial action will remain valid for 6 months (or after 9 months where there is mutual agreement with the employer).
  • Two weeksʹ notice of any action will need to be given to an employer unless the union and the employer mutually agree to 7 days’ notice.
  • Requirements on unions to appoint picketing supervisors.

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