Trade Union Bill (HL Bill 74)

A

BILL

TO

Make provision about industrial action, trade unions, employers’ associations
and the functions of the Certification Officer.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Introduction

1 Meaning of “the 1992 Act”

In this Act “the 1992 Act” means the Trade Union and Labour Relations
(Consolidation) Act 1992.

5Ballot thresholds for industrial action

2 Ballots: 50% turnout requirement

(1) In section 226 of the 1992 Act (requirement of ballot before action by trade
union), in subsection (2)(a), after sub-paragraph (ii) insert—

(“iia) in which at least 50% of those who were entitled to vote
10in the ballot did so, and”.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any ballot opened before the day on which this
section comes into force.

For this purpose a ballot is “opened” on the first day when a voting paper is
sent to any person entitled to vote in the ballot.

3 15Ballots: 40% support requirement in important public services

(1) In section 226 of the 1992 Act, in subsection (2)(a)(iii), for “the majority voting
in the ballot” substitute “the required number of persons (see subsections (2A)
to (2C))”.

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(2) In section 226 of the 1992 Act, after subsection (2) insert—

(2A) In all cases, the required number of persons for the purposes of
subsection (2)(a)(iii) is the majority voting in the ballot.

(2B) There is an additional requirement where the majority of those who
5were entitled to vote in the ballot are normally engaged in—

(a) the provision of important public services, or

(b) activities that are ancillary to the provision of important public
services.

(2C) The additional requirement is that at least 40% of those who were
10entitled to vote in the ballot answered “Yes” to the question.

(2D) In subsection (2B) “important public services” has the meaning given
by regulations made by statutory instrument by the Secretary of State.

(2E) Regulations under subsection (2D) may specify only services that fall
within any of the following categories—

(a) 15health services;

(b) education of those aged under 17;

(c) fire services;

(d) transport services;

(e) decommissioning of nuclear installations and management of
20radioactive waste and spent fuel;

(f) border security.

(2F) No regulations shall be made under subsection (2D) unless a draft of
them has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of
each House of Parliament.”

(3) 25This section does not apply to any ballot opened before the day on which this
section comes into force.

For this purpose a ballot is “opened” on the first day when a voting paper is
sent to any person entitled to vote in the ballot.

Information requirements relating to industrial action

4 30Information to be included on voting paper

(1) In section 229 of the 1992 Act (voting paper), after subsection (2A) insert—

(2B) The voting paper must include a reasonably detailed indication of the
matter or matters in issue in the trade dispute to which the proposed
industrial action relates.

(2C) 35Where the voting paper contains a question about taking part in
industrial action short of a strike, the type or types of industrial action
must be specified (either in the question itself or elsewhere on the
voting paper).

(2D) The voting paper must indicate the period or periods within which the
40industrial action or, as the case may be, each type of industrial action is
expected to take place.”

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any ballot opened before the day on which this
section comes into force.

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For this purpose a ballot is “opened” on the first day when a voting paper is
sent to any person entitled to vote in the ballot.

5 Information to members etc about result of ballot

(1) 5In section 231 of the 1992 Act (information as to result of ballot), for the words
after “all persons entitled to vote in the ballot” substitute are told—

(a) the number of individuals who were entitled to vote in the
ballot,

(b) the number of votes cast in the ballot,

(c) 10the number of individuals answering “Yes” to the question, or
as the case may be, to each question,

(d) the number of individuals answering “No” to the question, or as
the case may be, to each question,

(e) the number of spoiled or otherwise invalid voting papers
15returned,

(f) whether or not the number of votes cast in the ballot is at least
50% of the number of individuals who were entitled to vote in
the ballot, and

(g) where section 226(2B) applies, whether or not the number of
20individuals answering “Yes” to the question (or each question)
is at least 40% of the number of individuals who were entitled
to vote in the ballot.”

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any ballot opened before the day on which this
section comes into force.

25For this purpose a ballot is “opened” on the first day when a voting paper is
sent to any person entitled to vote in the ballot.

6 Information to Certification Officer about industrial action etc

(1) After section 32 of the 1992 Act (annual return) insert—

32ZA Details of industrial action etc to be included in annual return

(1) 30If industrial action was taken during any return period in response to
any inducement on the part of a trade union, the union’s return under
section 32 for that period shall set out—

(a) the nature of the trade dispute to which the industrial action
related;

(b) 35the nature of the industrial action;

(c) when the industrial action was taken.

(2) If a trade union held a ballot during any return period in respect of
industrial action, the union’s return under section 32 for that period
shall contain the information mentioned in section 231 (information as
40to result of ballot).

(3) In this section “return period” means a period for which a trade union
is required to send a return to the Certification Officer under section
32.”

(2) Subsection (1) applies only to returns for periods that begin after the day on
45which this section comes into force.

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Timing and duration of industrial action

7 Two weeks’ notice to be given to employers of industrial action

(1) In section 234A of the 1992 Act (notice to employers of industrial action), in
subsection (4)(b), for “seventh” substitute “14th”.

(2) 5Subsection (1) does not apply to any industrial action in relation to which the
employer receives a relevant notice before the day on which this section comes
into force.

“Relevant notice” here has the same meaning as in section 234A of the 1992 Act
(see subsection (3) of that section).

8 10Expiry of mandate for industrial action four months after date of ballot

(1) In section 234 of the 1992 Act (period after which ballot ceases to be effective),
for subsection (1) substitute—

(1) Industrial action that is regarded as having the support of a ballot shall
cease to be so regarded at the end of the period of four months
15beginning with the date of the ballot.

(1A) Subsection (1) has effect—

(a) without prejudice to the possibility of the industrial action
getting the support of a fresh ballot; and

(b) subject to the following provisions.”

(2) 20Subsection (1) and paragraphs 12 and 13 of Schedule 4 do not apply to any
industrial action the ballot for which opened before the day on which this
section comes into force.

For this purpose a ballot is “opened” on the first day when a voting paper is
sent to any person entitled to vote in the ballot.

25Picketing

9 Union supervision of picketing

(1) In section 219 of the 1992 Act (protection from certain tort liabilities), in
subsection (3), for the words after “actionable in tort” substitute unless—

(a) it is done in the course of attendance declared lawful by section
30220 (peaceful picketing), and

(b) in the case of picketing to which section 220A applies, the
requirements in that section (union supervision of picketing)
are complied with.”

(2) After section 220 of the 1992 Act insert—

220A 35 Union supervision of picketing

(1) Section 220 does not make lawful any picketing that a trade union
organises, or encourages its members to take part in, unless the
requirements in subsections (2) to (8) are complied with.

(2) The union must appoint a person to supervise the picketing.

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(3) That person (“the picket supervisor”) must be an official or other
member of the union who is familiar with any provisions of a Code of
Practice issued under section 203 that deal with picketing.

(4) The union or picket supervisor must take reasonable steps to tell the
5police—

(a) the picket supervisor’s name;

(b) where the picketing will be taking place;

(c) how to contact the picket supervisor.

(5) The union must provide the picket supervisor with a letter stating that
10the picketing is approved by the union.

(6) If an individual who is, or is acting on behalf of, the employer asks the
picket supervisor for sight of the approval letter, the picket supervisor
must show it to that individual as soon as reasonably practicable.

(7) While the picketing is taking place, the picket supervisor must—

(a) 15be present where it is taking place, or

(b) be readily contactable by the union and the police, and able to
attend at short notice.

(8) While present where the picketing is taking place, the picket supervisor
must wear a badge, armband or other item that readily identifies the
20picket supervisor as such.

(9) In this section—

  • “approval letter” means the letter referred to in subsection (5);

  • “employer” means the employer to which the trade dispute
    relates;

  • 25“picketing” means attendance at or near a place of work, in
    contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute, for the purpose
    of—

    (a)

    obtaining or communicating information, or

    (b)

    persuading any person to work or abstain from
    30working.

(10) In relation to picketing that two or more unions organise or encourage
members to take part in—

(a) in subsection (2) “the union” means any one of those unions,
and

(b) 35other references in this section to “the union” are to that union.”

Application of funds for political objects

10 Opting in by union members to contribute to political funds

(1) For section 84 of the 1992 Act substitute—

84 Contributions to political fund from members of the union

(1) 40It is unlawful to require a member of a trade union to make a
contribution to the political fund of a trade union if—

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(a) the member has not given to the union notice in writing of the
member’s willingness to contribute to that fund (an “opt-in
notice”); or

(b) an opt-in notice given by the member has expired under
5subsection (2) or has been withdrawn in accordance with
subsection (5).

(2) On any renewal date (see subsections (3) and (4)) an opt-in notice
expires unless—

(a) it has been renewed by notice in writing (a “renewal notice”)
10given by the member to the union within the period of three
months ending with that date; or

(b) the opt-in notice was given less than six months before that
date.

(3) The first renewal date—

(a) 15for a trade union in relation to which a political resolution is in
force on the commencement date, is the date falling five years
and three months after that date;

(b) for any other trade union, is the date falling five years and three
months after the first date following the commencement date on
20which the union passes a political resolution.

(4) Each subsequent renewal date falls five years after the previous one.

(5) A member of a trade union who has given an opt-in notice may
withdraw that notice by giving written notice (a “withdrawal notice”)
to the union.

(6) 25A withdrawal notice takes effect at the end of the period of one month
beginning with the day on which it is given.

(7) An opt-in notice, a renewal notice or a withdrawal notice may be given
to a trade union by being delivered—

(a) at the head office of the union, or

(b) 30at a branch office of the union,

either personally or by any authorised agent or by post.

(8) In this Act “contributor”, in relation to the political fund of a trade
union, means a member who has given to the union an opt-in notice
that has not expired or been withdrawn.

(9) 35In this section “the commencement date” means the day on which
section 10 of the Trade Union Act 2015 comes into force.”

(2) For section 85 of the 1992 Act substitute—

85 Manner of giving effect to section 84

(1) A union that has a political fund must either—

(a) 40make a separate levy of contributions to that fund from the
members who are contributors, or

(b) relieve members who are not contributors from the payment of
the appropriate portion of any periodical contribution required
from members towards the expenses of the union.

(2) 45In the latter case, the rules shall provide—

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(a) that relief shall be given as far as possible to all members who
are not contributors on the occasion of the same periodical
payment, and

(b) for enabling each member of the union to know what portion (if
5any) of any periodical contribution payable by the member is a
contribution to the political fund.”

(3) Subsections (4) and (5) apply in the case of a member of a trade union who,
immediately before the day on which this section comes into force (“the
commencement date”), is not exempt from contributing to the union’s political
10fund.

(4) During the period of three months beginning with the commencement date
(“the transitional period”), the member is treated as a contributor to the fund
for the purposes of the 1992 Act (as amended by this Act).

This is subject to subsection (5).

(5) 15If during the first two months of the transitional period the member gives an
exemption notice as mentioned in section 84(1) of the 1992 Act, as it had effect
immediately before the commencement date, subsection (4) ceases to apply to
the member at the end of the period of one month beginning with the day on
which the notice is given.

11 20Union’s annual return to include details of political expenditure

(1) After section 32ZA of the 1992 Act (inserted by section 6 above) insert—

32ZB Details of political expenditure to be included in annual return

(1) This section applies where the expenditure of a trade union for any
calendar year includes expenditure falling within section 72(1)
25(expenditure on political objects) which exceeds £2,000 in total.

(2) The union’s return for that year under section 32—

(a) shall identify the recipient of each item of expenditure under
each different category, and

(b) in relation to each recipient, shall specify the amount and the
30nature of the expenditure.

For the purposes of this subsection a “category” of expenditure is
expenditure falling within paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) or (f) of section
72(1).

(3) A prescribed amount may be substituted for the amount for the time
35being specified in subsection (1).

The amount prescribed may not be less than £2,000.

(4) Where, because of a direction under section 32(4)(a), a trade union is
required to send a return for a period other than a calendar year—

(a) this section has effect as if references to a calendar year were
40references to that period; and

(b) if that period is more or less than a year, subsection (1) has effect
as if the amount specified in it were proportionately increased
or reduced.”

(2) In section 131 of the 1992 Act (administrative provisions applying to
45employers’ associations), after “section 32(1), (2), (3)(a), (b) and (c) and (4) to
(6)” insert “, section 32ZB”.

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(3) In section 135(3) of the 1992 Act (administrative provisions not applying to
certain federated employers’ associations), in paragraph (c), after “section
32(1), (2), (3)(a), (b) and (c) and (4) to (6)” insert “, section 32ZB”.

(4) Subsections (1) to (3) apply only to returns for periods that begin after the day
5on which this section comes into force.

Facility time and check-off

12 Publication requirements

After section 172 of the 1992 Act insert—

172A Publication requirements in relation to facility time

(1) 10A Minister of the Crown may by regulations require relevant public
sector employers to publish any information within subsection (3).

(2) An employer is a relevant public sector employer if the employer—

(a) is a public authority, and

(b) has at least one employee who is a relevant union official.

(3) 15The information that is within this subsection is information relating to
facility time for relevant union officials including, in particular—

(a) how many of an employer’s employees are relevant union
officials, or relevant union officials within specified categories;

(b) the total amount spent by an employer in a specified period on
20paying relevant union officials for facility time, or for specified
categories of facility time;

(c) the percentage of an employer’s total pay bill for a specified
period spent on paying relevant union officials for facility time,
or for specified categories of facility time;

(d) 25the percentage of the aggregate amount of facility time taken by
an employer’s relevant union officials in a specified period that
was attributable to specified categories of duties or activities;

(e) information relating to facilities provided by an employer for
use by relevant union officials in connection with facility time.

(4) 30In subsection (3) “specified” means specified in the regulations.

(5) The regulations may make provision—

(a) as to the times or intervals at which the information is to be
published;

(b) as to the form in which the information is to be published.

(6) 35The regulations—

(a) may impose publication requirements on certain categories of
relevant public sector employer, or on all such employers;

(b) may make different provision for different categories of
relevant public sector employer.

(7) 40In this section a “relevant union official” means—

(a) a trade union official;

(b) a learning representative of a trade union, within the meaning
given by section 168A(11);

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(c) a safety representative appointed under regulations made
under section 2(4) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

(8) In this section “facility time” means time off taken by a relevant union
official that is permitted by the official’s employer under—

(a) 5section 168, section 168A or section 170(1)(b);

(b) section 10(6) of the Employment Relations Act 1999;

(c) regulations made under section 2(4) of the Health and Safety at
Work etc Act 1974.

(9) The regulations may provide, in relation to a body or other person that
10is not a public authority but has functions of a public nature and is
funded wholly or partly from public funds, that the person is to be
treated as a public authority for the purposes of subsection (2).

(10) The regulations may make provision specifying the person or other
entity that is to be treated for the purposes of this section as the
15employer of a relevant union official who is employed by the Crown.

(11) The regulations may—

(a) deem a category of persons holding an office or employment
under the Crown (or two or more such categories taken
together) to be an entity for the purposes of provision made
20under subsection (10);

(b) make different provision under subsection (10) for different
categories of persons holding an office or employment under
the Crown.

(12) The regulations shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be
25subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of
Parliament.”

13 Reserve powers

After section 172A of the 1992 Act (inserted by section 12 above) insert—

172B Reserve powers in relation to facility time

(1) 30If a Minister of the Crown considers it appropriate to do so, having
regard to information published in accordance with publication
requirements, the Minister may exercise the reserve powers.

(2) The reserve powers are powers to make regulations—

(a) applying to relevant public sector employers on whom the
35publication requirements were imposed, and

(b) containing any provision that the Minister considers
appropriate for one or both of the following purposes.

(3) The purposes are—

(a) ensuring that, in each period specified by the regulations, the
40percentage of the working time of any relevant union official of
an employer that is taken as paid facility time does not exceed a
percentage that is so specified;

(b) ensuring that, in each period specified by the regulations, the
percentage of an employer’s total pay bill spent on paying