You can't have missed the news (which everyone knew was coming anyway) about the consultation on a reform of strike balloting laws.
The government has published the draft Trade Union Bill, along with three separate consultation documents on ballot thresholds in important public services, hiring agency staff during industrial action and tackling intimidation of non-striking workers. Critics are describing the proposals as a sledgehammer to crack a nut which didn't even exist in the first place.
The main proposals are:-
- industrial action will require a 50% turnout
- 40% of all eligible voters must vote in favour of industrial action which affect important public services
- the ban on using agency staff to cover striking workers will be lifted
- there will be a 4 month limit on a strike mandate, after which another ballot is required (this won't apply to ballots taking place before the Act comes into force, assuming it is passed)
- more specific requirements for the wording of the ballot paper
- banning automatic opt-ins to political donations from trade union subscription fees
- the amount of notice of a strike to be given to an employer will be increased from 7 to 14 days
The consultations are open until 9 September 2015.