Industrial action ballot thresholds in important public services

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27 / 1 / 2016 5.39pm

The government’s Trades Union Bill 2015 includes the introduction of a new 40 per cent important public services threshold. 

This new provision will require industrial action ballots to be run under the 40 per cent threshold where a majority of workers involved are deemed to be involved in providing the “important public service”.

Following a consultation, the Government has now confirmed that the new rules will apply to industrial action in  “emergency, urgent and critical health care services including  emergency ambulance services, A&E services in a hospital and high dependency units “.

Implications for the NHS

This will mean that any future strike action in key public services, which includes health services, will require the support of at least 40 per cent of those staff entitled to vote in a ballot, in order for any industrial action to be vaild. This will be in addition to the 50 per cent turnout threshold that will apply in all sectors.

Next steps

The Trades Union Bill is currently going through the legislative process in Parliament and we will continue to keep you updated as this issue develops. 

For more information, please see the government’s full response document, which is now available on the website :           

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