Calls for government to change Employment Relations Act

Manufacturing
employers are calling on the Government to make changes to the Employment
Relations Act 1999, after claiming it was tilted too far in the unions’ favour.

The
Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) claims that proposed changes to the
statutory union recognition procedures favour the trade unions.

It
claims that although the individual changes are small in themselves, the
cumulative affect of them would be significant.

EEF
deputy director of employment policy, David Yeandle said: "The effect of the
changes will add to the raft of employment legislation facing employers and we
would urge the Government to ensure any changes to the Act result in a fairer
and better balanced procedure," he said.

The
EEF has also issued a series of recommendations on the Act:

Simplification
of the Act’s Schedule, detailing the rules for statutory union recognition as
this is unnecessarily complex and difficult for the parties to understand

Always
holding a secret ballot before the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) imposes
union recognition, unless the parties agree otherwise, as this would provide
‘closure’ on the issue and avoid a continuing debate about what was the
majority view

Requiring
CAC panels to give full reasons for their decision at each stage in the statutory
union recognition procedure to avoid giving rise to a genuine sense of
injustice

Changing
the criteria for defining the appropriate bargaining unit for union recognition
by, for example, requiring it to be compatible with the actual day-to-day
management of the business

www.eef.org.uk

By Ross Wigham

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