A Trade Union is a membership-based organisation mainly made up of workers with roles and responsibilities of leadership positions set by the law. One of its main objectives must include the regulation of relations between workers and employers or employers’ associations. An employers’ association is a body of employers, generally from the same sector of the economy, whose principal purposes include the regulation of relations between employers in that sector and workers or trade unions. Trade unions have duties and obligations under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TURLCA 1992) and case law.
The Trade Union Act 2016 amends the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation Act) Act 1992 (TULRCA 1992)as follows:
A union must make sure that a person who has been convicted of an offence relating to trade union obligations does not hold one of a number of specified leadership positions. The disqualification is either five or ten years depending on the nature of the offence – S45B TULRCA 1992
Under section 46 (1) TULRCA 1992, the union must make sure that no one remains in a specified leadership position for more than five years without re-election.
A person who is not re-elected to a specified leadership position can continue in a hand-over role for up to six months even if it takes his tenure over the maximum five year period – section 59 TULRCA 1992
Where an official in a specified leadership position is nearing retirement age, the requirement for re-election every five years will not be necessary in certain specified circumstances – section 58 TULRCA 1992
A new union is allowed one year from its formation before the statutory requirement to undertake leadership elections is imposed – section 57 TULRCA 1992
Under section 118(6) TULRCA 1992, a trade union that consists mainly of constituent or affiliated organisations, or representatives of such organisations, will be exempt from the leadership election requirements if;
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