News and Events

Employment Relations Act 2004 - Further Commencement Provisions

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A statutory instrument bringing further sections of the Employment Relations Act 2004 has just been made. The sections come into force on 6th April 2005.

The sections coming into force are (in summary):

Union Recognition

  • clarifying how the 'appropriate bargaining unit' is to be determined by the CAC;
  • providing for a suitable person to handle communications between the union and the bargaining unit;
  • provision for postal voting for workers away from the workplace;
  • confirmation that 'pay', for collective bargaining purposes, does not include pensions;
  • provisions to speed up the recognition or derecognition process;
  • provisions empowering Acas to require information from the parties where it is asked to settle a dispute

Industrial Action

  • extending the 'protected period' for lawful official action from eight weeks to twelve weeks;
  • new mandatory matters to which a tribunal must have regard when deciding whether an employer has taken reasonable steps to resolve a dispute with the union.


  • a right for employees not to be dismissed or subjected to a detriment because of being summoned for jury duty;
  • amendments to procedures relation to the exercise of functions by the Certification Officer

The Employment Relations Act 2004 (Commencement No.3 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2005 (SI 2005/872)