Recognition means that a trade union can conduct collective
bargaining on behalf of your employees.
This interactive tool helps you understand your choices in the application process. You should use this when either of the following apply: when a trade union formally applies to you for recognition when you want to voluntarily recognise a trade union, without the trade union formally applying to you This tool is not a substitute for professional advice. You may also want to: •discuss the options informally with a trade union official - this does not commit either party to any particular solution •take advice from a range of professional and trade organisations including Acas get impartial information about recognising a trade union on the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) websiteThe role of a recognised trade union
A recognised trade union represents workers in negotiations with their employer. These negotiations will usually centre on workers’ terms and conditions. When an employer recognises a trade union, it will be for bargaining on behalf of a particular group of workers. This group is often called a ‘bargaining unit’.
Rights of a recognised trade union
An independent trade union recognised by an employer has certain legal rights. These include the rights for its: •officials to be given time off work by the employer to carry out their trade union duties •members to be given time off work to take part in trade union activities •officials to be given information by the employer that they can use in collective bargaining with the employer •learning representatives to be given time off for their duties in relation to the learning and training of employees and to have training to carry out those duties •An independent trade union recognised by an employer also has the right to be consulted by the employer about certain issues. These include:
•health and safety matters •when the employer is thinking about making a group of workers that includes trade union members redundant •when the transfer of the employer’s business is being considered •Employee information and consultation rights •Collective redundancy consultation representatives •Resolving problems with trade unions •Gaining trade union recognition •A trade union can become recognised by making a voluntary agreement or following a statutory procedure involving the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC).
If your employer does not recognise a trade union in your workplace, then a trade union can become recognised by making a voluntary agreement with your employer. This is the way most recognition arrangements in the UK are established.
If your employer will not make a voluntary agreement with a trade union, then the trade union can follow a statutory procedure for recognition. The statutory procedure applies to employers that have 21 or more workers. To follow the statutory procedure, the trade union must first write to your employer requesting recognition.
Recognition of Unions:
Trade unions must have at least 30% membership from the supporting organization. 1. Recognition of unions must be required for all organizations 100 or more workers. And at least 30% of the workers within the organization should be members of the union. 2. The IRC must certify the union as a representative union by verifying its active memberships. The IRC must also deal with aspects of union recognition such as: the level of recognition to be offered, certifying the
majority union, and dealing with other related matters. 3. The recognized union must be allotted certain rights such as right to sole representation, right to enter into collective agreements on terms and conditions of service, the right to collect membership subscriptions within the premise of the undertaking, the right of check-off, etc. 4. Minority unions must only be allotted the right to represent cases of dismissal and discharge of their members before the Labor Court. 5. Unions must be made strong, organizationally, and financially. Nevertheless, intra-union disputes must be discouraged.
Strikes/Lock-outs and Gheraos:
1. If cessation of work may cause social harm, strikes should be banned; instead, the case must be forwarded to an arbitration committee. 2. Every strike must be preceded by a warning. 3. A maximum of one month must be allotted for holding a legal strike in nonessential industries. 4. Gherao is not really a form of labor unrest because it involves physical compulsion instead of economic pressure. 5. Unjustified strikes hold penalties should be discharged, and the aggravated parties should settle their disputes face-to-face. 6. Compensation and wages should be distributed to prevent unnecessary strikes.
1. Conciliation is most effective if it is uninfluenced by external factors, and the conciliation department is adequately staffed. 2.Personnel hired to work in the conciliation department should undergo special hiring selection.
It has been observed that with the growth of collective bargaining, recognition of unions, and improved management attitudes, settlement of
disputes through voluntary arbitration will be accepted.
Unfair Labor Practices:
These should be discouraged, and penalties should be levied upon those who participate in unfair labor practices.
Rights of Recognized Trade Unions:
1. Right to sole representation. 2. Collective agreement used on terms of employment and conditions of service. 3. Collection of membership fees. 4. Right to investigate workers' previous place of employment. 5. Nominate members on works/grievance committee.
The consequences of trade union recognition
There are a number of consequences once a trade union becomes recognised. Many apply regardless of whether recognition was voluntary, semi-voluntary or statutory. However, some are only relevant where a union uses the statutory procedure. Making arrangements for the conduct of collective bargaining Once a union has achieved recognition, either via a voluntary or the statutory procedure, you and the union - 'the parties' - need to agree how you will conduct collective bargaining. Such an agreement could cover the following issues: •how and when meetings will be arranged •who the employer and union representatives are •time off for union representatives to attend meetings •how agreements and disagreements will be communicated to the
workforce •conduct during negotiations - how and when issues can be raised •the specific matters which will be subject to joint agreement, eg pay and working hours •dispute resolution - what should happen if deadlock is reached on a particular issue, eg conciliation and arbitration