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Explanatory Memorandum to Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

Information about employees to be contained in notice of industrial action

Article 8 amends Article 118 of the 1995 Order, which specifies the information required to be contained in a notice of industrial action. Article 118 currently requires a union to provide each employer whom the union reasonably believes to employ members who will be induced to take part in the proposed industrial action with a notice. The notice must state whether the action is intended to be continuous or discontinuous and give, in the first case, the date on which it is intended to start and, in the second, the dates on which it is intended to take place. As the Article stands at present, the notice must contain information in the union’s possession that would help the employer to make plans and bring information to the attention of the employees the union intends to induce, and must also include information, if the union has it, as to the number of employees involved, their category of work and workplace. The notice must be received by the employer at least 7 days before the first date on which the industrial action is intended to take place. Article 8 simplifies the requirements of Article 118 by making changes to the information the union is required to supply. The intention is to reduce the uncertainty currently present in Article 118 by making the information that the union must supply specific and removing the need for the union to determine what information has to be given to help the employer to make plans and bring information to the attention of the employees the union intends to induce. The provisions also allow for unions to meet their obligations by referring in the notice to union members who pay their union subscription by “check-off” (a method of paying union subscriptions directly from wages).

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