Individual rights arising from Union membership

Individual rights arising from Union membership

31 July 2019

Kostal v UK v Dunkley concerns when it’s acceptable for an employer (who recognises trade unions) bypassing a union to negotiate directly with individual employees regarding changes to their terms and conditions. Trade Union law only allows employers (who recognise trade unions) to go over the heads of a union with a direct offer to workers concerning contracts of employment if they have a genuine, proper business purpose for doing so.  The cost of making an unlawful offer is currently £4,059 in respect of each worker, multiplied by the number of different offer letters sent.

The ET and EAT held that Kostal had committed unlawful inducement contrary to section 145B the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. The Court of Appeal allowed Kostal’s appeal, held that it did not amount to unlawful inducement and dismissed the claims. On 11 February 2020 the employees were given permission to appeal to the Supreme Court and we await an a hearing date.

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