Freedom of Association - Key elements of law

Key elements of the law include:

  • Workers have the legal right to form/join a union
  • Management should encourage the formation of a trade union or workers’ committee
  • Management should regularly meet with unions or committees to discuss issues
  • There should be no discrimination on the grounds of union membership
  • Workers’ representatives should be allowed to carry out their duties within working hours without losing pay.
  • Collective bargaining for employees for issues such as redundancy, transfers and health and safety.


You need to:

  • Be aware of the legislation
  • Be open to union activities on your site
  • Engage with unions and employee representatives with regard to issues that affect employees’ working lives.
  • Ensure that you are not directly or indirectly discriminating against people because of their union membership.
  • Give workers representatives time off to carry out their activities.

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