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Chapter

Cover Employment Law

29. Industrial action  

The law on the organisation of industrial action is mainly contained in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. This chapter sketches out the broad principles and their practical implications. It looks separately at three distinct topics: firstly, the law relating to trade unions and trade union officials organising industrial action; secondly, the law relating to individual workers taking industrial action; and, thirdly, the law relating to picketing (ie, demonstrating support for a strike outside an employer’s premises). This is an area of employment law which is both complex (some would say unnecessarily so) as well as controversial in a number of respects.

Chapter

Cover Selwyn's Law of Employment

21. Individual Trade Union Rights  

This chapter considers the rights of an individual in respect of his trade union membership and/or non-membership and remedies for breach of those rights. These rights exist vis-à-vis a trade union or against an actual or potential employer. They include the right not to be excluded from a union; the right not to be unjustifiably disciplined; the right to resign; the right not to be expelled; the right to have a ballot before industrial action; and the right to take time off work for trade union duties. The relevant statutory provisions are contained in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULR(C)A), which has been amended by subsequent legislation, and reference will also be made to a number of legal decisions.

Chapter

Cover Smith & Wood's Employment Law

10. Industrial action  

This chapter considers the law relating to strikes and other industrial action including the important changes made by the Trade Union Act 2016. It deals with the historical development of common law and statute in this field to illuminate the current law. The relevance of the European Convention on Human Rights is considered. The tortious and criminal liabilities flowing from industrial action are considered, as well as the crucial immunity for tortious liability provided by the ‘golden formula’, including the exceptions to this immunity and the preconditions of complying with rules on balloting and notice of industrial action. Picketing is considered in relation to the many legal liabilities and the statutory immunity for some peaceful picketing. The granting of injunctions to stop industrial action is examined. The impact of industrial action on individual employees is considered in relation to their contractual rights and liabilities and the law of unfair dismissal.

Chapter

Cover Smith & Wood's Employment Law

10. Industrial action  

Ian Smith, Owen Warnock, and Gemma Mitchell

This chapter considers the law relating to strikes and other industrial action, including the important changes made by the Trade Union Act 2016. It deals with the historical development of common law and statute in this field to illuminate the current law. The relevance of the European Convention on Human Rights is considered. The tortious and criminal liabilities flowing from industrial action are considered, as well as the crucial immunity for tortious liability provided by the ‘golden formula’, including the exceptions to this immunity and the preconditions of complying with rules on balloting and notice of industrial action. Picketing is considered in relation to the many legal liabilities and the statutory immunity for some peaceful picketing. The granting of injunctions to stop industrial action is examined. The impact of industrial action on individual employees is considered in relation to their contractual rights and liabilities and the law of unfair dismissal.

Chapter

Cover Selwyn's Law of Employment

23. Law Relating to Industrial Relations  

This chapter begins with a discussion of trade union recognition, covering voluntary recognition, statutory recognition, and employers’ training policies. It then turns to collective bargaining; statutory protections, including the definitions of ‘trade dispute’, ‘in contemplation of’, and ‘in furtherance of’ industrial action; strikes; statutory protection and loss of immunities; limits to the amount of damages which may be awarded if a trade union is sued successfully in tort; injunctions and interdicts; legal effect of collective agreements; peaceful picketing; and the European Works Councils, including time off work and protection from detriment and dismissal.