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Government drops key proposed changes to strike and picketing laws in Trade Union Bill

06 November 2015 #Employment


On 15 July 2015, the government published the Trade Union Bill 2015-16 and published a Consultation on tackling intimidation of non-striking workers to seek views on proposed reform of the law relating to picketing and protests in order to address intimidation and so-called "leverage tactics" by unions.

This week, BIS published the government's response, confirming that the government is not pursuing the majority of its proposals, including plans:

  • to require unions to publish in advance their plans for industrial action, pickets, or social media campaigns
  • for new criminal offence of intimidation on the picket line
  • to require unions to report annually on their industrial action and picketing activities.

The Government will, however, update the Code of Practice on Picketing to clarify the legal protections already available to those who suffer intimidation in relation to industrial action, and introduce new guidance on how to seek redress if such intimidation takes place using social media.

Plus, it will proceed with its proposal to introduce a legal requirement for unions to appoint a picket supervisor, who will have responsibility for the conduct of a picket. The picket supervisor will be required to hold a letter of authority, but the Government intends to amend the Trade Union Bill to clarify that the only person with the right to see the letter will be the employer or its agent and that the letter need not include the picket supervisor’s name.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at employmentunit@clarkslegal.com by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.

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Anita Mishra

Anita Mishra
Partner

E: amishra@clarkslegal.com
T: 020 7539 8042
M: 0759 064 6006

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