With particular reference to the policy of the

This assignment will see the policy of jurisprudence and recent alterations in relation to merchandise brotherhood acknowledgment in the UK. It will research the statutory strategy and critically analyze it, reasoning that it is far more favorable to the employer than the employee and that certain amendments are required to be made in order for this jurisprudence to be satisfactory.

The current process, of Trade Union Recognition is contained under Schedule 1 of the Employment Relations Act 1999 and has been capable to contention, for different grounds, from employers to their federations, trade brotherhoods, political parties, employment attorneies and faculty members. These contentions have centred upon the balance between voluntary and statutory paths, the skin color and complexness of the processs and the methods of enforcement. Suffice it to state that brotherhoods and critical perceivers argued that the process was excessively favorable to employers, either straight when used or indirectly by discouraging applications [ 1 ] .

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The Employment Relations Act 1999 gave trade brotherhoods new legal rights to be recognised by employers where they could show bulk rank or support. While the Act has straight led to fewer than a 100 awards of acknowledgment, the figure of voluntary understandings achieved by trade brotherhoods in the period instantly predating the statute law and since its debut is significant. Harmonizing to studies for the TUC, more than 1,200 understandings have been concluded since 1998 [ 2 ] .

Guidance to their operation of the commissariats of Era 1999 can be found in two codifications. One gives practical advice on how to let trade brotherhood entree to workers during acknowledgment and derecognition ballots [ 3 ] . The other outlines a specified method of corporate bargaining which the CAC can enforce after acknowledgment has been awarded, but where understanding has non been reached by the employer and the brotherhood on how they should dicker [ 4 ] . The codification on entree is detailed and efforts to be even-handed, some may state asp rational in the manner in which it dispenses its advice. For illustration, it encourages joint entree agreements where there are applications by more than one brotherhood. Of more concern to some trade union members, is the reported [ 5 ] state of affairs of the acknowledgment application of an independent brotherhood [ 6 ] allegedly being blocked by a non-independent trade brotherhood which is claiming bing negociating rights [ 7 ] . Such rights, it is argued, should merely be available to a brotherhood which can truly stand for the involvements of its members because it is non under the fiscal or direction control of the employer [ 8 ] .

It is of import to see Schedule A1 to the Trade Union and Labour Relations ( Consolidation ) Act 1992 which is possibly the most of import statute law in relation to merchandise brotherhood acknowledgment and therefore this will be examined in some item. It is first of import to look at the definition of “bargaining unit” as set out in the act. The preferable Government path for industrial partnership is the voluntary acknowledgment of a trade brotherhood by the employer ( if well supported by employees ) [ 9 ] . However, if this is non accomplishable, the trade brotherhood may in certain fortunes apply to the CAC for a declaration that it should be recognised for corporate bargaining over wage, hours and vacations for workers in a specific bargaining unit. When sing the process set out in Schedule A1 to the 1992 Act, it is non right to detect that the size and range of this bargaining unit is a important industrial dealingss issue.

Paragraph 18 of Schedule A1 provides that in make up one’s minding the “ appropriate bargaining unit ” the CAC must foremost see the demand for it “ to be compatible with effectual direction ” . Subsidiary affairs which may besides be considered-provided that “ they do non conflict with that demand ” -are the positions of employer and brotherhood, bing bargaining agreements, the desirableness of avoiding fragmented units and the features and location of workers within the proposed unit.

Determination of the bargaining unit is at the bosom of the relationship between employer and trade brotherhood. Of the 57 applications for statutory acknowledgment submitted between June 6, 2000, when Sch A1 came into force, and March 31, 2001, all of the 27 recognized instances proceeded to the bargaining unit phase [ 10 ] . Over a 3rd of these had to be determined by the CAC because the parties could non make understanding on the bargaining unit. Of the remainder, the dickering units were agreed in five instances, five were withdrawn and seven were expecting declaration at the clip of describing [ 11 ] .

Paragraph 4 requires a brotherhood or brotherhoods seeking acknowledgment to do a ‘request for acknowledgment ‘ to the employer. In add-on to the ‘independence ‘ and ’employer size ‘ demands, a petition must follow with the undermentioned demands if it is to be considered ‘valid ‘ . The petition must be in authorship, place the brotherhood and province that it is made under Schedule A1. It must besides be received by the employer. It should be noted that while a petition may be made by more than one brotherhood, moving jointly, it may associate merely to a BU consisting workers of a individual employer. Leting multi-union claims was justified by the demand to esteem workers ‘ freedom to fall in the brotherhood of their pick. This was, nevertheless, qualified by the demand imposed on brotherhoods doing joint petitions to fulfill the CAC that they will co-operate over corporate bargaining, even to the extent of perpetrating themselves to joint bargaining, should the employer require this. In this manner the authorities obviously hoped to accommodate the policy of insulating the CAC from issues associating to inter-union competition with the world that it is still the instance in some areas-the National Health Service and newspaper publication for example-that certain groups of workers may suitably be represented by more than one brotherhood.

In sing the statutory strategy for acknowledgment it is now of import to look at some of the instances heard by the CAC and decided under this statutory strategy.

The first of these is TGWU and Gala Casinos Ltd t/a Maxims Casino Club [ 12 ] , the CAC Panel convened under the TULRCA 1992, s 263A, considered an application from the brotherhood, TGWU, that it should be recognised for corporate bargaining intents by the employer, Maxims Casino Club, for all cavity foremans, helper cavity foremans, inspectors, traders, tellers and others employed the nine. The Union argued that the bargaining unit should be restricted to merely one of Maxim’s many casinos, and their principle fro this was that its pay construction, direction, and budget were different from other casinos. The brotherhood besides argued that the disciplinary procedure and footings associating to the attention of uniforms were besides different to that of other brotherhoods. The direction at the Casino argued that the concern was centrally managed and that footings and conditions including rates of wage were fixed at that degree, with no local dialogue on rewards, hours and vacations. Seniority of the staff at Maxims and higher degrees of experience were responsible for any differential payments. The employers were hence of the position that a bargaining unit should be based on all employees and/or should be one based on employees in the 26 casinos.

The CAC Panel in doing its statutory declaration under TULRCA 1992, Sch A1, paragraph 19 ( 3 ) ( a ) , ( B ) made mention to its statutory duty to avoid disconnected dickering units and accepted the employer ‘s entry that the brotherhood ‘s proposal could take to 170 separate dickering units. The CAC ‘s finding was that the appropriate bargaining unit “ is composed of all employees in all casinos operated by the Employer in the United Kingdom ” . This could perchance be characterised as a “ win-win state of affairs ” in that the employers secured a big bargaining unit which reflected their cardinal administration and the trade brotherhoods secured a determination [ 13 ] that casino staff should be in a separate bargaining unit, albeit non based on an person casino, but one which would reflect the CAC Panel ‘s position “ that there are a figure of relevant differentiations between employees in casinos and lotto nines both in relation to accomplishments, occupation rubrics and descriptions and rates of wage ” .

The following instance which is notable is the instance of ISTC and MFI-formerly Hygena ( Scunthorpe ) [ 14 ] , in this instance the CAC Panel had determined that the bargaining unit should dwell of all MFI manual workers across six sites, the issue to be determined was whether the general commissariats about cogency in paragraphs 43-50 of Schedule A1 were met. Under TULRCA 1992, Schedule A1, paragraph 45 ( a ) , ( B ) , the brotherhood had to demo that its members constituted at least 10 per cent of the workers in the bargaining unit and that a bulk “ would be probably to favor acknowledgment of the brotherhood ” . But the employer maintained “ that the brotherhood had merely recruited 543 members out of a possible work force at the three sites of 1,398 and this clearly supported the position that the bulk of workers did non desire Union acknowledgment. A recruitment rate of merely less than 40 per cent had been achieved at three sites after a biennial run but there were no members in another site and merely two in a farther location. This was adequate to fulfill the 10 per cent threshold in paragraph 45 ( a ) but non plenty to run into the demand in paragraph 45 ( B ) that a bulk of workers would favor acknowledgment. So, a 21.8 per cent rank base overall, meant that the ballot application was dismissed and over 500 work Ers were unrepresented for corporate bargaining intents by their trade brotherhood.

In Manufacturing Science Finance and Saudi Arabian Airlines [ 15 ] , a instance refering air hose forces, where understanding had been reached between the parties on an appropriate bargaining unit, the lone affair at issue was the degree of brotherhood rank. The MSF trade brotherhood conceded that although it did non hold the needed 50 per cent plus one bulk in the bargaining unit for the CAC to be able to declare acknowledgment without a ballot [ 16 ] , it would bespeak that a CAC determination on keeping a ballot should be delayed by a hebdomad to enable it to make that threshold. The CAC Panel who declared “ that it would be an wrong application of the statutory procedure to postpone a determination on the retention of a ballot whilst one party sought to procure alterations in brotherhood rank within the bargaining unit ” robustly rejected this [ 17 ] .

In ISTC and Fullarton Computer Industries Ltd [ 18 ] the employer ‘s challenged the wrongness of the trade brotherhood doing the application, in that the said brotherhood “ did non move in the involvements of good industrial dealingss nor in the involvements of the Company at the clip of the recent redundancy proclamations. ” The CAC Panel, in admiting that the redundancy state of affairs had clearly soured management-trade brotherhood dealingss, however declared that “ the rightness or otherwise of the applier brotherhood, nevertheless, is non a relevant issue for the CAC. ” Although technically this must be right, it mirrors possibly the arguably “ individualistic ” push of the statute law.

A farther illustration of how the statutory strategy operates can be seen in the CAC determination on the admissibility of a acknowledgment application by the National Union of Journalists ( NUJ ) [ 19 ] . In that instance, around half of the journalists in the proposed bargaining unit were NUJ members and at most one worker in the bargaining unit was a member of a rival independent non-TUC affiliated brotherhood, the British Association of Journalists ( BAJ ) . Despite this, the employer, MGN Limited, recognised the BAJ and its acknowledgment, the Panel found, sufficed to barricade the NUJ ‘s application under paragraph 35 ( 1 ) of the SRP, which prevents a brotherhood from doing an application for acknowledgment ‘if the CAC is satisfied that there is already in force a corporate understanding under which a brotherhood is recognised as entitled to carry on corporate bargaining on behalf of any workers falling within the relevant bargaining unit ‘ . The Panel found that acknowledgment flows merely from the determination by an employer to allow acknowledgment and of the brotherhood to accept that grant of acknowledgment and does non necessitate any authorization or consent from a bulk or a peculiar proportion of the workers in relation to whom the corporate bargaining will happen. To barricade a acknowledgment application under paragraph 35 ( 1 ) , it may non even be necessary for any worker to be a member of the brotherhood the employer recognises. Obviously, this creates a policy job, in that the recognised brotherhood may non be representative of the workers in inquiry. Where the recognised brotherhood is affiliated to the TUC, this job may be resolved through the TUC Disputes Procedures. Where the recognised brotherhood is a non-independent trade brotherhood its acknowledgment by the Company can be challenged under Part VI of the SRP. However, where, as here, the recognised brotherhood is independent but non affiliated to the TUC, no statutory ‘representativity ‘ standard is available to decide the issue.

A study under taken for the DTI [ 20 ] by research workers at the Working Lives Research Institute and the Policy Studies Institute, focuses on the content of brotherhood acknowledgment understandings, that have been concluded voluntarily. The study is based on a statistically representative sample of voluntary trade brotherhood acknowledgment understandings, supplemented by the findings of nine instance surveies. It aimed to set up the extent to which the range of these understandings mirrored the statutory method of corporate bargaining, in peculiar whether they limited bargaining to the nucleus issues of wage, hours and vacations. It explores how far the understandings went beyond these issues and, in peculiar, the extent to which they dealt with emerging cardinal issues, including pensions, preparation and equal chances.

In the overpowering bulk of instances new voluntary acknowledgments took the signifier of formal written understandings, proposing that statutory acknowledgment may hold led to the codification of corporate bargaining. In nine out of 10 instances the understanding was still in force at the clip of the study and, where this was non the instance, the chief ground was due to closing of the workplace. Therefore in most of the trades the parties had entered into a long-run bargaining relationship. Most understandings did supply for corporate bargaining and merely a little proportion ( less than 10 % ) limited the range of the understanding to audience or corporate representation merely.

The Employment Rights Act 2004 made important alterations to the statutory trade brotherhood acknowledgment process. While this was an already overcomplicated piece of statute law, it has now been augmented by a farther 30 pages [ 21 ] . The purpose of the amendments is to clear up the issues that have arisen over the old four old ages of the operation of Schedule A1 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations ( Consolidation ) Act 1992. These cover three peculiar countries:

  1. Statutory dialogue rights for brotherhoods over the issues of wage, vacation and hours
  2. Statutory dialogue rights for brotherhoods over the issues of wage, vacation and hours

The amendments make it clear that the Central Arbitration Committee ( CAC ) should curtail its consideration to these “ nucleus subjects ” , and non widen the parametric quantities to include such affairs as occupational or personal pension strategies. This overturns the CAC ‘s determination in Unifi v The Bank of Nigeria Plc [ 22 ] .

Returning to the current statutory strategy, to reason this assignment, it can be seen that the current statutory strategy is non wholly satisfactory. Novitz and Skidmore [ 23 ] consider that there is employer prejudice in specifying the bargaining unit ; and besides that there should be a lower threshold of support than that presently required from the bing work force before the CAC can order a ballot on the bargaining unit [ 24 ] . Additionally, they favour a simple bulk in the ballot on the bargaining unit instead than the present bulk of workers voting who must represent at least 40 per cent of the workers in the bargaining unit [ 25 ] . This demand entirely, it can be argued, would ever predispose a hostile employer to press for larger constituencies. They besides consider that there should be stronger steps to forestall employers who “ below the belt seek to act upon workers to vote against trade brotherhood acknowledgment ” . It is pointed out that the lone countenance is a declaration of acknowledgment. Ewing [ 26 ] besides maintains that the acknowledgment commissariats, because they do non use to employers with 20 or less workers [ 27 ] , breach Art 4 of the International Labour Organisation Convention 1998 which requires Member States to advance “ the full development and use of machinery for voluntary dialogue ” between employers ‘ and workers ‘ administrations. It is claimed that this statutory threshold excludes some 90-95 per cent of private sector workers. Another hindrance identified in procuring acknowledgment is when bing staff associations can barricade n11 applications from independent trade brotherhoods. Such a state of affairs is arguably in breach of Art 2 ( 2 ) of the ILO Convention 1998 which stipulates that worker ‘ and employers ‘ administrations should run without intercession from each other and that workers ‘ administrations should non be under the domination of employers ‘ administrations.



ISTC and Fullarton Computer Industries Ltd ( TUR1/29/00 ) February 2, 2001

Manufacturing Science Finance and Saudi Arabian Airlines ( TUR1/11/00 ) December 1, 2000

National Union of Journalists ( NUJ ) Case TUR1/307/2003, 6 January 2004,

TGWU and Gala Casinos Ltd t/a Maxims Casino Club ( TUR1/119/2001 ) November 1, 2001

Unifi v The Bank of Nigeria Plc

Legislative acts

Employment Rights Act 2004

Employment Relations Act 1999

Trade Union and Labour Relations ( Consolidation ) Act 1992

Statutory Instruments

SI 2000 No 1300 Footings And Conditionss Of Employment, The Trade Union Recognition ( Method of Collective Bargaining ) Order 2000

Consultation Documents

DTI, Access to Workers During Recognition and Derecognition Ballots ( PL 500 )

Voluntary Trade Union Recognition Agreements, 1998-2002: Volume One-An

Analysis of New Agreements and Case Studies, S. Moore, S. McKay and H. Bewley. DTI Employment Relations Research Series, September 200

Journal Articles

Antill D, ( 2001 ) “Trade Union Recognition” , New Law Journal 151.7011 ( 1809 )

Ewing, KD, Employment Rights: Building on Fairness At Work, Industrial Law Society Conference, September 16, 2000

Ewing K, ( 2001 ) “Constitutional Reform and Human Rights: Unfinished Business? “5 Edinburgh Law Review, issue 3

Gall G, ( 2005 ) “Research and Reports – The First Five Old ages of Britain’s Third Statutory Union Recognition Procedure” , Industrial Law Journal 2005.34 ( 345 )

McKay S & A ; Moore S, ( 2004 ) “Research and Reports – Union Recognition Agreements In the Shadow of the Law, Industrial Law Journal 2004. 33 ( 374 )

Toman V, ( 2005 ) “More Power to the People? ” , New Law Journal 155.7170 ( 492 )


Bowers J & A ; Honeyball S, ( 2002 ) “Bowers and Honeyball Textbook on Labour Law” , Oxford University Press

Deakin s & A ; Morris G, ( 2003 ) “Labour Law” , Third Edition, Lexis Nexis

Dudington J, ( 2003 ) “Employment Law” , Pearson Higher Education

Lewis D & A ; Sargeant M, ( 2005 ) “Employment Law” , Pearson Higher Education Press

Willey B, ( 2003 ) “Employment Law in Context” , Pearson Professional Education

Novitz and Skidmore, ( 2001 ) “Fairness at Work, A Critical Analysis of The Employment Relations Act 1999 and its intervention of Collective Rights” , Hart Publishing


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