All employees who are trade union members have certain rights in respect of their union membership. For example, an employee has the right not to be dismissed for choosing to join or remain a member of a trade union. Where these rights are held to have been breached, an employer may face claims of automatic unfair dismissal.

This topic covers the principal purposes of trade unions, the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004, collective bargaining and collective agreements and the rights of union representatives and members.

Employers' Duties

Employers have a duty to:

  • accept employees’ membership or non-membership of a trade union

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