Trade Union Bill

Explanatory Notes

Overview of the Bill

1 The Bill amends the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation Act) Act 1992 as follows:

clauses 2 and 3 set out the requirements for a minimum thresholds of a 50% turnout in all industrial action ballots, and for a higher level of support in favour of industrial action for specified important public services;

clauses 4 to 6 set out information requirements relating to industrial action: the information that must be included in the ballot paper; and information given to union members and to the Certification Officer following a ballot;

clauses 7 and 8 specify the arrangements for the timing and duration of industrial action, requiring two weeks' notice of any action to be given to an employer, and providing that a ballot mandate for industrial action expires after four months;

clause 9 sets out requirements on unions for the supervision of picketing;

clauses 10 and 11 replace the current arrangements for a union member to contribute to a union's political fund so that positive consent is required, and places requirements on unions to include more detailed information on expenditure from political funds in the annual return to the Certification Officer;

clauses 12 and 13 create regulation-making powers in respect of paid time off for trade union duties and activities in the public sector.

clauses 14 to 17 set out new investigatory powers and sanctions available to the Certification Officer and new arrangements for funding the Certification Office.

Prepared 15th July 2015