month’s tube strikes causing havoc for thousands of London commuters, the
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has today published the Trade
Union Bill (the Bill) in a timely fashion.
yesterday’s press release, Nick Boles MP says that the current strike rules
mean ‘a small minority of trade union members can fundamentally disrupt the
lives of millions of commuters, parents, workers and employers at short notice.
The new legislation will ensure that ‘strikes are the result of a clear and
positive democratic mandate from union members’.
introduces a 50% turnout threshold for ballots on industrial action. For core
public services, there is an additional threshold of 40% of eligible voters who
must back the action. This means that, in core public services, 80% of those who
vote must vote in favour of the strike for it to be held.
introduces several other changes, including:
A four month time limit for industrial action,
so that mandates are always recent;
A requirement of a clear description of the
trade dispute and the planned strike on the ballot paper, so that union members
can be clear on what they are voting on;
Greater scrutiny and controls over subsidies to
trade unions paid by the taxpayer;
Providing trade union members with an active
choice of paying into political funds;
A ban on using agency workers to cover striking
workers to be lifted;
An increase in the amount of notice of a strike
to be given to an employer from 7 to 14 days; and
The introduction of safeguards to ensure that
non-striking employees are able to go about their work without fear of
significant changes which BIS is consulting over and the
consultation will run until
9 September 2015.