Changes unveiled on union strike laws

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New proposals to reduce the likelihood of future strike action have been put forward by the governmment

The government has announced the proposed introduction of new legislation that it claims will make the laws surrounding strike action in the UK fairer for all.

Businesses and employees alike should be aware of the impending changes to union strike laws that the Conservative party has now put forward, with the move designed to limit the impact of strike action on innocent members of the public in the future.

The main measures being put forward in these new reforms are:

  1. A 50 per cent turnout threshold for all strike ballots.
  2. An additional threshold of 40 per cent of support to take industrial action from all members eligible to vote.

By implementing these tighter criteria for future votes on strike action, it is hoped the new Trade Union Bill will uphold the right to strike, while potentially reducing disruption to millions of people.

Also included in the details of the legislation will be a range of other measures relating to union activity in the UK in the years ahead, including increased scrutiny and controls over taxpayer-funded subsidies to trade unions, the introduction of a new four-month time limit for industrial action and the future delivery of clearer descriptions of all trade disputes and the planned industrial action that is suggested on all ballot papers.

Responding to the announced reforms, minister for trade unions Nick Boles said: "People have the right to expect that services on which they and their families rely are not going to be disrupted at short notice by strikes that have the support of only a small proportion of union members.

"These are sensible and fair reforms that balance the right to strike with the right of millions of people to go about their daily lives without undue disruption."