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.


Personnel Today turns 30: Highlights from our first issue

Did you work in human resources in the 1980s? Or perhaps you worked in personnel? We mark the 30th anniversary...

Amazon drivers’ false self-employment dispute settled

16 Jan 2018

A courier company that delivers parcels for Amazon has settled a dispute with drivers that the GMB union claimed were...

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Thomas Cook case reveals what unions must tell employers about industrial action plans

3 Jan 2018

What does a union have to tell its members and the employer about planned industrial action? Nick Chronias explains.
When...

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What you might have missed: Christmas and New Year round-up

2 Jan 2018

The first day back at work for many is an inevitable struggle after a much-deserved break over Christmas. But what...

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Private sector strike days jump 80%

4 Dec 2017

The number of working days lost to strike action in the private sector has increased by 80% in a year,...

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TUC calls for overhaul of minimum wage rates

8 Nov 2017

The TUC is calling on the Government to raise the national living wage to £10 “as quickly as possible” and...

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Closing a pension scheme to accrual: considerations for employers

24 Oct 2017

British Airways recently announced proposals to close its New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS) due to a “significant and growing funding...

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Royal Mail wins injunction to stop 48-hour strike

13 Oct 2017

Royal Mail has won a High Court injunction preventing next week’s planned 48-hour strike by postal workers.
The proposed strike,...

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Junior doctors strike

Will Trade Union Act minimise strikes in ‘important public services’?

25 Sep 2017

The Trade Union Act introduced rules on balloting for industrial action in important public services that set the bar high...

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Five tribunal claims that will increase in post-fees era

30 Aug 2017

Following last month’s decision of the Supreme Court declaring that employment tribunal fees were unlawful, the number of tribunal claims...

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Good work or bad? Reaction to the Taylor Review

11 Jul 2017

Any much-anticipated report is likely to divide opinion, and the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices is no different. Rob...

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What do the new picketing laws mean in practice for employers?

31 May 2017

New picketing laws came into force in March designed to prevent trade unions adopting intimidating tactics during industrial action. Nick...

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General election 2017: which party will shake up employment law the most?

30 May 2017

With the general election approaching, consultant editor at XpertHR Darren Newman examines the Labour and Conservative manifestos to see where...

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Labour manifesto 2017: what employers need to know

17 May 2017

The Labour Party’s official manifesto has been released today and includes some of the most radical changes to employment legislation...

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Government consults on new trade union fines

10 Apr 2017

Trade unions are facing fines of up to £20,000 for breaking governance rules, under plans being consulted on by the...

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