Voluntary Recognition Agreements

If a collective agreement covers part or all of the unit of collective agreements under which a union (or union) is recognized, a claim from another union is not admissible. The same applies where the existing recognition is not due to wages, hours or leave and the recognised trade union has only a weak affiliation to the tariff unit. However, if the existing recognized union does not have a certificate of independence and the agreement is 3 years old, the recognition agreement cannot stop a request from an independent union. Since enterprises employing fewer than 21 persons (including employees of related enterprises) are excluded from the legislation, the CAC will automatically refuse any application for recognition in small enterprises. Workers with related employers created outside the UK are not included unless they normally work in the UK. Special rules apply to commercial shipping. If you do not wish to recognize the union and you have more than 21 employees, they can apply for legal recognition from the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC). Each party may request the COUNCIL to reconsider recognition if it considers that the changes in the bargaining unit mean that the original unit is no longer appropriate. It should be noted that as soon as an employer recognizes a union for the first time, both parties will generally develop an agreement defining the operation of the recognition agreement and the related bargaining processes. A union cannot withdraw an application once the CA has informed it that one or the other recognition will be granted or that a vote is required.

Employers and the union may jointly agree that an application will not be submitted before the voting deadline. An employer can opt for voluntary union recognition if it has clear and convincing evidence that an overwhelming majority of workers want union representation. Voluntary recognition is done without choice – the employer essentially renounces a choice and accepts the union`s proof that the workers want the union to represent them. .


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