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The following are the main provisions in the ActTRADE UNION RECOGNITION The new legislation will allow Trade Unions to seek collective bargaining rights with employers in certain circumstances Independent trade unions can exist in organisations employing 21 or more workers if that is the wish of a majority of the workforceThe procedure seeks to encourage voluntary agreements where possible However sometimes Trade Unions and Employees cannot reach an agreement in these cases the decision will be taken by the Central Arbitration Committee CAC which will decide the appropriate bargaining unit and whether the union should be recognised Also if it finds it necessary it can impose a legally - binding procedure for bargaining about pay hours and holidaysACAS CODE OF PRACTICE ON DISCIPLINARY AND GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES - On 4th September 2000 ACAS Advisory conciliation and Arbitration Service published its revised Code of Practice Included in the new code is the statutory right of an employee to be accompanied by a fellow worker or a TU representative at disciplinary and grievance hearings The right applies only to those hearings which deal with serious matterssuch as disciplinary matters eg Hearings resulting in a warning or some other action against the worker In the case of grievances the right applies in hearings concerned with the performance of a statutory contractual or other duty by theemployer in relation to the worker Individuals who seek to be accompanied or who seek to accompany another worker will also be protected against victimisation for doing soTIME OFF FOR DEPENDENTS - All employees will have the right to take a reasonable period of time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependant PARENTAL LEAVE DIRECTIVE - This provides a right to parents of up to 13 weeks unpaid leave to individuals who meet the conditions within the regulations THE MATERNITY LEAVE REGULATIONS - Leave will increase to 18 weeks and the qualifying service for additional maternity leave will reduce from
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