Trade unions

A trade union is an association of workers in a particular industry or sector, designed to protect the rights, interests and working conditions of employees. Large trade unions in the UK include the TUC, Unite, Unison, the GMB and Usdaw.

Trade unions can receive recognition, or employers can derecognise trade unions. Employment laws protecting employees taking industrial action, such as taking part in strikes or picketing, are contained in the Employment Rights Act 1996 and Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.


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Theresa May’s Brexit speech: what will it mean for employment?

Following Theresa May’s speech laying out the UK’s objectives for its exit from the EU, we round up the reaction...

Southern station staff help commuters during an RMT strike last weekGuy Bell/REX/Shutterstock

50 MPs call for tougher strike laws to end Southern Rail “misery”

16 Jan 2017

Fifty Conservative MPs have demanded tougher strike laws be introduced to stop the “widespread misery” suffered by Southern Rail commuters...

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Wincanton drivers deliver goods to Argos storesTerry Harris/REX/Shutterstock

Argos drivers’ strike over holiday pay and overtime suspended

15 Dec 2016

Drivers who work for logistics firm Wincanton at Argos’s distribution centre near Burton upon Trent have called off strike action...

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Industrial action on the railways is included in the new RegulationsTolga Akmen/LNP/REX/Shutterstock

Trade Union Act 2016: Draft rules on public service industrial action unveiled

7 Dec 2016

The Government has published draft rules defining which public services are deemed “important” to require a 40% strike vote to...

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2017 employment law changes: are you ready?

Employment law changes 2017: eight priorities for HR

7 Dec 2016

Significant employment law changes are anticipated for 2017, amid the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the Brexit referendum.
Large compliance projects...

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Could electronic voting improve turnout in ballots for industrial action?

Electronic balloting for industrial action to be independently examined

4 Nov 2016

Sir Ken Knight, the former chief fire and rescue adviser, will lead an independent review of online voting for industrial...

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Women earn £8,500 less than men by their 50s

14 Oct 2016

Women earn less than men throughout their working lives and the gap is widest in their 50s when they earn...

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Wood Green BHS last month – one of the last stores of the retailer to be closed. Matthew Chattle/REX/Shutterstock

Inquiry launched into corporate governance, executive pay and boardroom diversity

16 Sep 2016

The Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) Committee has launched an inquiry into corporate governance, focusing on executive pay, directors’ duties...

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Employment law changes: October 2016 and beyond

15 Sep 2016

The autumn months promise to be a busy period for HR practitioners as they get to grips with a host...

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Unions to shine light on “businesses that treat workers like animals”

12 Sep 2016

Frances O’Grady is to warn “greedy businesses that treat workers like animals” that they have no place to hide in...

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Senior medics wade into junior doctors strike row

2 Sep 2016

A group of senior medical professionals has condemned the latest series of strikes proposed by junior doctors.
The Academy of...

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collective-consultation

Nine in 10 collective conciliation agreements are put in place

11 Aug 2016

More than nine in 10 collective agreements met through Acas conciliation were fully implemented in the workplace, the advice service...

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Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley and wife Linda arrive to give evidence last month. Photo: Ben Cawthra/REX/Shutterstock

Sports Direct’s business model treats workers like commodities and “without dignity”

22 Jul 2016

Sports Direct is founded on a business model that enables the majority of workers to be treated “without dignity or...

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In Germany, works councils, as well as trade unions, have an involvement in forwarding workers’ interests.

How worker representatives on boards might affect employers

13 Jul 2016

Theresa May, the UK’s incoming Prime Minister, this week vowed to put worker representatives on boards of major companies. What...

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Theresa May outside the Houses of Parliament after it is announced she will be prime minister. Photo: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

Theresa May promises worker representatives on boards

11 Jul 2016

The UK’s next prime minister Theresa May has vowed to put worker representatives on boards of major companies and to...

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