Trade Union Bill Proposal
We previously reported on the new Trade Union Bill.
The Trade Union Bill currently includes the following provisions:
Tackling Intimidation of Non-Striking Workers
Following the Bill, there have been three consultations, including tackling the intimidation of non-striking workers.
The government was concerned about potential and alleged intimidation by unions on picket lines and during protests. The government was also mindful of the wider impact of industrial dispute and seeks to balance the various competing interests.
Following an independent review in April 2014 (the Carr Review) the government was concerned as to whether any additional measures, beyond those set out in the Bill, should be introduced to tackle the issue of intimidation and other extreme tactics used by union members, and it therefore consulted on this point.
The majority of respondents felt there was no need for further measures. However, the consultation identified concerns about the use of social media during industrial action, for example the posting of photographs of non-striking workers.
Accordingly, the government has announced that it will not pursue any further proposals. It has also confirmed that it will abandon proposals requiring unions to publish advance plans for industrial action, pickets, or social media campaigns and will not introduce a new criminal offence on intimidation.
However, the government views the legal requirement for the union to appoint a picket supervisor as being an appropriate and proportionate way to prevent intimidation occurring on the picket line. The Code of Practice on Picketing will also be updated.
Employers should be mindful of potential intimidation towards non-picketing workers and ensure that following the passing of the Bill it is familiar with the provisions of the new Act.