Employers urged to control ballots

Companies should pre-empt ballots on compulsory recognition to prevent
unions from gaining control of communication channels to plead their case, a
leading employment lawyer has warned.

The advice follows widespread concerns among employers over proposals in the
draft code of conduct accompanying the Employment Relations Act 1999, which
would allow unions equal access to company facilities such as the intranet
during recognition campaigns.

But unions would only gain such rights once the statutory process has been
triggered by a compulsory ballot, explained Martin Warren, partner at

Employers thinking about bringing forward communication campaigns should do
so, rather than leave the real debate until the ballot is ordered. They can
have the debate before the union gains the right of access.

Compulsory recognition legislation is due to come into effect in May,
although it is thought implementation might be delayed by a few weeks.


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