New reforms will tackle the ‘endless’ threat of strike action

14 Sep 2015 12:22 AM

The Trade Union Bill receives its second reading in the House of Commons.

Reforms to end unjustified disruption to working people’s daily lives will be debated in the House of Commons for the first time yesterday(14 September 2015).

The Trade Union Bill will receive its second reading in Parliament. The bill proposes a time limit on ballots so that mandates for industrial action are always recent.

Under current laws, the ongoing London Underground and First Great Western industrial action could carry on for years.

Currently there are a number of live mandates for industrial action that are more than 2 years old. These include:

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

This is a one nation government acting in the interests of the whole country and these reforms will stop the ‘endless’ threat of strike action hanging over hardworking people.

Trade unions play an important role and deserve our respect. But when working people’s lives are being disrupted by strike action, it is only fair that this happens as a result of a contemporary mandate that is supported by the majority of union members.

Other measures in the bill will ensure strikes only happen as a result of a clear, positive decision by those entitled to vote, meaning working people know they can get on with their lives without unjustified disruption.

These modernising reforms will update industrial action law, meaning the right to strike is fairly balanced with the right of people to be able to go about their daily lives and work.

Employment Minister Nick Boles said:

Working people need to know they can get on with their lives without unjustified disruption.

These modernising reforms will ensure strikes only happen as a result of a clear, positive and recent decision by those entitled to vote.

Reforms in the bill include:

The bill also seeks to:

Notes to editors:

  1. The Trade Union Bill will apply to trade unions and union members in England, Wales and Scotland.
  2. The government will take forward secondary legislation to remove the current ban on employers using temporary workers to replace staff taking part in industrial action.
  3. The practice of “check off”, where trade union members’ subscriptions are administered via payroll, will be ended in the public sector. Amendments to the Trade Union Bill for this to happen will be included in due course.