Freedom of Association

What you must do - Law 2

The right to strike

  • The law provides for the right to strike. Workers must be properly and secretly balloted before striking (with notice to the employer). Any striking dispute must be wholly or mainly about employment-related matters.

  • The law prohibits retaliation against strikers.

  • The right to ‘reasonable time off for union activities’ (above) does not include the right to strike. The employer does not have to allow workers ‘time off’ to conduct industrial action, but they are not permitted to retaliate against those that choose to partake in industrial action.

Payments to Unions

  • Where payments are made to Unions through the payroll (which is called the ‘Check off’); this can only be done with the worker’s written permission.

Recognising Trade Unions

  • In order for you to negotiate with a union you must recognise its power to represent its members (your workers). You can do this voluntarily, which is the usual way that unions start negotiations with employers. If you wish to do this you must respond to their request for recognition within 10 days of receiving it.

  • However, if you do not wish to recognise the union’s power to negotiate, the union can apply for statutory recognition. This is a formal procedure where a public committee (the Central Arbitration Committee for the UK except Northern Ireland which uses the Industrial Court) decides whether a union should be allowed to negotiate on behalf of its members.

Click for more detail on recognition agreements

Now take the next step through: Freedom of Association and the Rght to Collective Bargaining.

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