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Trade Union Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes Trade Union Act

4 May 2016:

The Trade Union Bill received Royal Assent today.

Key provisions are:-

  • requirement for at least 50% turnout in votes for industrial action
  • in certain public services, including in the health, education, transport, border security and fire sectors, an additional threshold of 40% of support to take industrial action from all eligible members must be met for action to be legal
  • setting a 6 month time limit (which can be increased to 9 months if the union and employer agree) for industrial action so that mandates are always recent,
  • requiring a clearer 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, creating a transparent process for trade union subscriptions that allows new members to make an active choice of paying into political funds ensuring that payroll deductions for trade union subscriptions are only administered where the cost is not funded by the public.

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