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Employment Law

Legal guidance - compliance - software

16 MAY 2016

Upcoming legislation - Trade Union and Enterprise Acts

Upcoming legislation - Trade Union and Enterprise Acts
Gemma Cawthray
Associate, Veale Wasbrough Vizards

On 4 May 2016, the Trade Union Bill and the Enterprise Bill both received Royal Assent and became the Trade Union Act 2016 and the Enterprise Act 2016, respectively.

The Trade Union Act

We have followed the Trade Union Bill's progress through Parliament and previously reported on the government's attempts to soften the impact of the Bill and address concerns raised in the House of Lords.

The Act has now received Royal Assent and requires:

  • a ballot turnout of at least 50% before any industrial action can proceed;
  • 40% of those eligible to vote, to vote in favour before industrial action in 'important public services' can proceed.
'Important public services' include health services, education of those aged under 17, fire services, transport services, border security and decommissioning of nuclear installations and management of radioactive waste and spent fuel.

The Act will be brought into force by a subsequent statutory instrument, though it is not yet clear when.

The Enterprise Act

We previously reported on the draft Public Sector Exit Payment Regulations 2016 (the Regulations). Having now received Royal Assent, the Enterprise Act has inserted the Regulations into a new section within the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, and introduces a cap of £95,000 on exit payments made within the public sector.

As previously reported, the cap will include the employer's cost of funding early access to unreduced pensions, which is likely to have a significant impact on how any additional termination payments negotiated under settlement arrangements are determined.

The Enterprise Act will be brought into force in stages by secondary legislation, though the dates have not yet been confirmed.

We shall keep you updated on when each Act comes into force.
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