The major provisions of the Trade Union Act 2016 will come into force on 1 March 2017. The Trade Union Act 2016 (Commencement No. 3 and Transitional) Regulations 2017 will bring into force the following provisions:
- The 50% turnout requirement for all industrial action ballots (section 2 of the 2016 Act which amends section 226 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation Act 1992 – TULRCA));
- The requirement that 40% of those entitled to vote support industrial action in important public service ballots (section 3 which amends s.226 TULRCA);
- New rules governing the information that must be included on the ballot paper, requiring the union to provide a summary of the matters in issue in the dispute, details of the types of industrial action short of a strike and when industrial action is expected to take place (section 5 which amends s.229 TULRCA);
- Changes to the information which must be notified to union members following a ballot (section 6, which amends section 231 TULRCA);
- The requirement on unions to include information about industrial action and political expenditure in their annual return to the Certification Officer (sections 7 and 12, which bring into force new s.32ZA-C TULRCA);
- The extension of the notice of industrial action to be given to employers from one week to two weeks (section 8, which amends s.234A TULRCA);
- The expiry of the mandate for industrial action six months after the ballot (section 9 which amends s.234 TULRCA);
- The requirement on unions to appoint a picket supervisor (section 10 which amends s.219 and brings into force new s.220A TULRCA);
- The requirement that union members opt in to contributing to political funds, subject to a transition period of 12 months and only in respect of new joiners (section 11 which amends s.82 and brings into force new s.84A TULRCA); and
- Restrictions on ‘check-off’ arrangements, requiring unions in the public sector to make a reasonable contribution to the cost of administration (section 15 which amends s.296 and brings into force new s.116B TULRCA).
The new rules will only apply to industrial action ballots which open on or after 1 March 2017.