Industrial Action Handbook

Practice area: Employment law
ISBN: 9781847039903
Published by IDS, April 2010

Available formats
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This IDS Employment Law Industrial Action Handbook helps you to gain a full understanding of the legislation. The Handbook provides an overview of the law governing strikes.

Other areas covered in the handbook include:

  • Sets out the legal liabilities to which unions are exposed
  • Explains the basic statutory immunities for unions organising industrial action and considers the circumstances in which they forfeit that immunity
  • Describes the law on picketing
  • Sets out the remedies available against unions for unprotected industrial action
  • Covers the dismissal of participants taking part in either official or unofficial industrial action
  • Deals with the legal impact and discusses continuity of employment and employment rights


  • A right to strike?
  • Scheme of the law
  • Industrial action
  • Strikes

Liability for industrial action

  • Union liability in tort
  • Breach of contract
  • The industrial torts
  • Criminal liability

Trade union immunities

  • Scope of immunity
  • Trade dispute
  • ‘In contemplation or furtherance’

Loss of immunity

  • Ballots and notice of industrial action
  • Secondary action
  • Dismissals during unofficial action
  • Unlawful picketing
  • Union-only and recognition clauses
  • Enforcing union membership

Industrial action ballots

  • Preliminary considerations
  • Entitlement to vote
  • Separate workplace ballots
  • Ballot requirements
  • Period of effectiveness



  • Statutory protection for picketing
  • Loss of protection
  • Civil liability
  • Criminal liability
  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  • Secondary picketing

Remedies for unlawful action

  • Injunctions
  • Damages
  • Action by union members
  • Action by individuals

Industrial action dismissals

  • Dismissal during unofficial action
  • Dismissal during ‘protected’ official action
  • Dismissal during ‘non-protected’ official action

Industrial action and employment rights

  • Detriment short of dismissal
  • Pay
  • Redundancy payments
  • Guarantee payments
  • Continuity of employment
  • Notice rights
  • Time-off rights

Industrial pressure to dismiss

  • Redeployment
  • Causation
  • Contributory conduct
  • Joinder of third parties
  • Right not to be subjected to detriment