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.


Outsourcing: How the IWGB nearly overturned collective bargaining rules

Last month the High Court dismissed a case which would have seen outsourced workers able to negotiate pay and conditions - but the fight still has legs

Outsourcing giant faces protests over payroll upgrade

11 Apr 2019

The outsourcing company ISS faces protests today over changes to its payroll system that will see it withhold the pay...

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Shared parental leave should be ‘overhauled’

5 Apr 2019

Shared parental leave is unaffordable for most working families and should be overhauled, according to the TUC.

Shared parental leave...

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Outsourced workers lose collective bargaining bid

26 Mar 2019

The High Court has dismissed a case brought by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which claimed that...

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Pharmacists’ union wins eight-year battle for Boots recognition

12 Mar 2019

A pharmacists’ union has invited Boots to “start a new positive chapter of employee relations” after winning an eight year...

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May’s promise on post-Brexit workers’ rights ‘meaningless’

11 Mar 2019

An EU and employment law barrister has described Theresa May’s purported guarantee on workers’ rights after Brexit as “meaningless” in...

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New EU employment law to be reviewed by Parliament post-Brexit

6 Mar 2019

Theresa May will today unveil how the UK government will handle emerging EU laws concerning workers’ rights after Brexit.
The...

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TUC and GMB ‘passports’ to boost disabled people in work

25 Feb 2019

The TUC and the GMB union have launched an effort to prevent disabled people from leaving their jobs because of...

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Cleaner unfairly dismissed for Topshop pay protest

21 Feb 2019

A cleaner at Topshop’s flagship London store has won up to £75,000 after an employment tribunal found she had been...

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Honda confirms 2021 closure of Swindon manufacturing plant

19 Feb 2019

Honda has confirmed that it proposes to close its manufacturing plant in Swindon in 2021, with the loss of around...

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Communicating change: The ‘Scary Six’ personas you need to win over

13 Feb 2019

Continuing our three-part serialisation of her book, Lucy Adams shares her “Scary Six”, examples of workplace personas that HR needs...

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Are employment tribunal fees restricting access to justice? Photo: Alex Segre/REX

Outsourced Whitehall support workers to strike over low pay

21 Jan 2019

Cleaners, receptionists and security guards at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)...

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Employee ‘class actions’ on the rise: what does this mean for employers?

16 Jan 2019

The courts have seen a significant rise in the number of employment claims brought by large groups of individuals. The...

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Six employment law decisions that will shape 2019

11 Jan 2019

Which employment law decisions will shape 2019? We outline six of the most significant cases in the pipeline – from...

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The 10 most important employment law cases in 2018

11 Jan 2019

As always, HR professionals had their fair share of employment law cases to keep track of in 2018, but what...

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