The major provisions of the Trade Union Act 2016 came into force on 1 March 2017. The controversial Act makes changes to the requirements for lawful or protected strike action - in other words strike action which workers can take part in without risk of being dismissed from their employment, and which cannot be prevented by obtaining an injunction or interdict.
The provisions which came into force include:-
- The requirement for a turnout of at least 50% of those entitled to vote
- In addition, for important public services (transport, health, border security, fire service and education) at least 40% of those entitled to vote must support the action
- Requirements relating to the information to be included on ballot papers, information to be given to union members about the result of a ballot, and information that must be given to the Certification Officer
- Requirements relating to the timing and duration of industrial action; an
- Requirements in relation to union supervision of picketing (more detail can be found on this in the Code of Practice on Picketing).
In December 2016 the Code of Practice on Industrial Action Ballots and Notice to Employers was updated to take account of the provisions of the Act.