first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Staff cannot face sack for legal strike, Act decidesOn 11 Apr 2000 in Personnel Today Rights to protect striking employees from losing their jobs are to takeeffect from 24 April, the Government has announced.From that date any employer who dismisses a member of staff for taking partin legal industrial action lasting less than eight weeks will be actingunfairly.If the action goes on longer dismissal will be unfair unless the employercan prove that “reasonable steps” were taken to resolve the dispute.This is the first of a series of measures coming in over the next few monthsdesigned to strengthen the position of unions.The rights are being brought in under the Employment Relations Act whichreached the statute books in August last year.Announcing the measure last week, DTI minister Alan Johnson said it will bea “powerful incentive” to both sides to resolve disputes throughnegotiation.But David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy at the EngineeringEmployers Federation, said it will lead to more strikes, especially as allballot papers will carry the message that strikers are protected by law.”If staff know they cannot be dismissed they will be more likely tovote in favour. This is providing a right to strike by the back door,” hesaid.Don Cuthbert, head of employee relations at Towers Perrin, said few HRdepartments are geared up to deal with the new right. In August half of 120 companies questioned by Towers Perrin had not madeplans, he said.”Collective employee relations has not been on the agenda for 20 years.There are not many HR directors in this country who have the skills to dealwith it. “Even those who were around in the 1970s have not handled it as alitigation issue,” Cuthbert Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img