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The consequences of trade union recognition

Updating author: Nick Chronias, DAC Beachcroft


  • The Employment Relations Act 1999 introduced new measures to protect any worker (not just an employee) from suffering any detriment on the grounds of his or her taking an interest in union recognition. Any dismissal on these grounds would be automatically unfair. (See Protection for enforcing new recognition rights)
  • If a ballot is ordered for compulsory recognition, the union is allowed access to canvass the workforce's support for compulsory recognition. Any agreement made as a consequence of collective bargaining may become legally enforceable by and against employees on whose behalf it was negotiated. (See Rights of access)
  • In addition, union officials, learning representatives and members may be entitled to time off when participating in union-related business. (See Ancillary rights and Time off for union representatives)
  • The right to conduct collective bargaining carries with it the right to be informed and consulted on key matters. (See Right to be informed and consulted)

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