Trade Union Bill (HL Bill 112)

A

BILL

[AS AMENDED ON REPORT]

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.

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3 Ballots: 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))”.

(2) 5After subsection (2) of that section 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
were entitled to vote in the ballot are at the relevant time normally
10engaged in the provision of important public services, unless at that
time the union reasonably believes this not to be the case.

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

(2D) In subsection (2B) “important public services” has the meaning given
15by 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) health services;

(b) education of those aged under 17;

(c) 20fire services;

(d) transport services;

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

(f) border security.

(2F) 25No 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) This section does not apply to any ballot opened before the day on which this
section comes into force.

30For 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.

Electronic balloting

4 Provision for electronic balloting: review and piloting scheme

(1) The Secretary of State shall commission an independent review, the report of
35which shall be laid before each House of Parliament, on the delivery of secure
methods of electronic balloting for the purpose of ballots held under section
226 of the 1992 Act (requirement of ballot before action by trade union).

(2) The use of pilot schemes shall be permitted to inform the design and
implementation of electronic balloting before it is rolled out across union strike
40ballots.

(3) The Secretary of State must consider the report and publish and lay before each
House of Parliament a strategy for the rollout of secure electronic balloting.

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(4) For the purpose of preparing the strategy under subsection (3), the Secretary of
State must consult relevant organisations including professionals from expert
associations to seek their advice and recommendations.

(5) The review under subsection (1) shall be commissioned within 6 months of the
5passing of this Act.

Information requirements relating to industrial action

5 Information 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 summary of the matter or matters in
10issue in the trade dispute to which the proposed industrial action
relates.

(2C) Where 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
15voting paper).

(2D) The voting paper must indicate the period or periods within which the
industrial 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
20section 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.

6 Information to members etc about result of ballot

(1) In section 231 of the 1992 Act (information as to result of ballot), for the words
25after “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) the number of individuals answering “Yes” to the question, or
30as 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
returned,

(f) 35whether 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
individuals answering “Yes” to the question (or each question)
40is 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.

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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.

7 Information to Certification Officer about industrial action etc

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

32ZA 5 Details of industrial action etc to be included in annual return

(1) If 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
10related;

(b) the 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
15shall contain the information mentioned in section 231 (information as
to 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) 20Subsection (1) applies only to returns for periods that begin after the day on
which this section comes into force.

Timing and duration of industrial action

8 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
25subsection (4), for paragraph (b) substitute—

(b) ending with the 14th day before the starting date, or the seventh
day before that date if the union and the employer so agree.

In paragraph (b) “starting date” means the day, or the first of the days,
specified in the relevant notice.”

(2) 30Subsection (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).

9 35Expiry 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, beginning with the date
40of the ballot—

(a) of six months, or

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(b) of such longer duration not exceeding nine months as is agreed
between the union and the members’ employer.

(1A) Subsection (1) has effect—

(a) without prejudice to the possibility of the industrial action
5getting the support of a fresh ballot; and

(b) subject to the following provisions.”

(2) Subsection (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.

10For 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.

Picketing

10 Union supervision of picketing

(1) In section 219 of the 1992 Act (protection from certain tort liabilities), in
15subsection (3), for the words after “actionable in tort” substitute unless—

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

(b) in the case of picketing to which section 220A applies, the
requirements in that section (union supervision of picketing)
20are complied with.”

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

220A 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
25requirements in subsections (2) to (8) are complied with.

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

(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) 30The union or picket supervisor must take reasonable steps to tell the
police—

(a) the picket supervisor’s name;

(b) where the picketing will be taking place;

(c) how to contact the picket supervisor.

(5) 35The union must provide the picket supervisor with a letter stating that
the 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) 40While the picketing is taking place, the picket supervisor must—

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

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(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 something that readily identifies the picket supervisor as
5such.

(9) In this section—

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

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

  • 10“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
    15working.

(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) 20other references in this section to “the union” are to that union.”

Application of funds for political objects

11 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) 25A person who, after the transition period, joins a trade union that has a
political fund at the time the person joins shall, on the trade union
membership form (whether paper or electronic), be asked whether or
not the person wishes to contribute to the political fund, and informed
that the decision shall not affect any other aspects of the person’s
30membership.

(2) It shall be unlawful to require a person who joins a trade union after the
transition period to make a contribution to any political fund of that
trade union if the person has not given to the trade union notice—

(a) on the membership form (whether paper or electronic), or

(b) 35in accordance with subsection (6),

of the person’s willingness to contribute to that fund.

(3) It shall be unlawful for any trade union which does not have in force a
political resolution under section 73 (political resolution) at the end of
the transition period, but which subsequently passes a political
40resolution under that section, to require a member of the trade union to
make a contribution to the political fund if the member has not given
notice to the trade union in accordance with subsection (6) of the
member’s willingness to contribute to that fund.

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(4) A member of a trade union who contributes to a political fund but
wishes to cease contributing to that political fund shall give notice to
that effect to the trade union in accordance with subsection (6).

(5) A member of a trade union who gives notice under subsection (4) shall,
5after the end of the period of one month beginning with the day on
which it is given, no longer be required to contribute to the political
fund.

(6) Notice under subsection (2), (3) or (4) may be given to a trade union by
being delivered—

(a) 10to the head office of the trade union, or

(b) to a branch office of the trade union,

in person, by any authorised agent, by post, or by electronic means.

(7) The Certification Officer shall, within six months of section 10 of the
Trade Union Act 2016 coming into force, issue a code of practice which
15must set out the minimum level of communications which trade unions
with political funds must have every year with political fund
contributors about their right to cease contributing to the political fund.

(8) The Certification Officer must monitor the compliance of trade unions
with political funds with the code of practice issued under subsection
20(7), and shall in their annual report under section 258 (annual report
and accounts) set out their findings.

(9) In this Act “contributor”, in relation to the political fund of a trade
union, means a member who makes a contribution to the political fund
and has not given notice to the trade union under subsection (4).

(10) 25In this section “the transition period” means the period to be specified
by the Secretary of State in regulations made by statutory instrument
following consultation with the Certification Officer and all trade
unions which have a political fund.

(11) The period to be specified by the Secretary of State under subsection
30(10) shall be no less than 12 months, and shall start on the day on which
section 10 of the Trade Union Act 2016 comes into force.

(12) A statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (10)
may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before,
and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.”

(2) 35For 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) make a separate levy of contributions to that fund from the
members who are contributors, or

(b) 40relieve 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) In the latter case, the rules shall provide—

(a) that relief shall be given as far as possible to all members who
45are not contributors on the occasion of the same periodical
payment, and

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

12 Union’s annual return to include details of political expenditure

(1) 5After section 32ZA of the 1992 Act (inserted by section 7 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)
(expenditure on political objects) which exceeds £2,000 in total.

(2) 10The 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
nature of the expenditure.

15For 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
being specified in subsection (1).

20The 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
references to that period; and

(b) 25if 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
employers’ associations), after “section 32(1), (2), (3)(a), (b) and (c) and (4) to
30(6)” insert “, section 32ZB”.

(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
35on which this section comes into force.

Facility time and check-off

13 Publication requirements

After section 172 of the 1992 Act insert—

172A Publication requirements in relation to facility time

(1) 40A Minister of the Crown may by regulations require relevant public
sector employers to publish any information within subsection (3).

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

(a) is a public authority specified, or of a description specified, in
the regulations, and

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

(3) 5The 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
10paying 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) 15the 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) 20In 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) 25The regulations may make different provision for different employers
or different categories of employer.

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

(a) a trade union official;

(b) a learning representative of a trade union, within the meaning
30given by section 168A(11);

(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
35official that is permitted by the official’s employer under—

(a) section 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) 40The regulations may provide, in relation to a body or other person that
is 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
45entity that is to be treated for the purposes of this section as the
employer of a relevant union official who is employed by the Crown.

(11) The regulations may—