Employment Law Trade Unions

24 JUNE 10
IS A TRADE UNION A CORPORATE BODY? A Trade Union is not a corporate body per-say, but it is capable of making contracts and can be, sued or sues, in its own name in relation to property, founded on contract, tort or any other cause of action. Trade Unions cannot register as companies under the “Companies Act 1985” or the “friendly Societies Act 1974” or the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965. (Ref; Sect 10 TULR © Act 1992) WHAT MAKES A TRADE UNION ‘INDEPENDENT’? All legally independent unions have a certificate of independence issued by the certification officer. A trade union needs to be independent, to represent its members correctly, and be free of any employer influence. Trade unions affiliated to the Trades Union Congress are independent but there are organisations, legally described as “unions” that are not independent and are more commonly known as “staff associations”. Section 5 of the TULR © 1992 describes an independent trade union as not being under the domination or control of an employer or group of employers or of one or more employers' associations, and is not liable to interference by an employer or any such group or association (arising out of the provision of financial or material support or by any other means whatsoever) tending towards such control. (Ref; Sect 5 TULR © Act 1992) WHAT DOES TRADE UNION RECOGNITION MEAN? Real recognition is when an employer accepts a trade union is part of the process of “managing” employees. This would be shown by having regular communications, with processes for informing, consulting, discussing or negotiating on a range of issues. These could include an “agreed bargaining procedure” that would cover, negotiation items and consultation items and could also have an avoidance of disputes procedure. Most trade union recognition is voluntary. WHAT ARE THE KEY STEPS IN LEGALLY SECURING RECOGNITION? If an employer will not make a voluntary agreement with a trade union, then the trade...