Where an employer is threatened with a strike or other industrial action, it will need to decide whether it has been lawfully organised by a trade union, and if not, whether an injunction or other action can be taken.

Employees taking industrial action may need advice on their rights. The fact that a union is protected from legal action for organising a strike does not necessarily mean that participants cannot be dismissed or suffer other consequences.

In most cases, an employee will be acting in breach of contract and the employer will be entitled to withhold pay. The dismissal of an employee may be automatically unfair if the employee took part in official industrial action. This is where the action has been called by a trade union that has complied with the balloting and notification rules.

Further advice

Our specialist employment lawyers can advise on all aspects of trade unions. For a free, no obligation fact finding meeting, complete our online enquiry form or call 0800 915 6037.


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