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Engagement with trade unions and dealing with collective bargaining issues as well as disputes is of critical importance.  

We have advised some of the UK's largest businesses, across different sectors, in dealing with complex industrial relations issues, collective consultation and industrial disputes. This has included advising household names, public sector bodies and third sector organisations.  

We understand the importance of the relationship your organisation has with its trade unions. This relationship can be challenging, particularly when there is a dispute, but it can also be a positive force to improve the working relationship.

Whether you need support in dealing with a major industrial dispute, collective consultation, collective bargaining or just engaging with the Unions positively we have the right expertise to help. The type of support you need can be very different depending on sector and also the culture of your organisation. Our team advise on the full range of Union and collective issues.  

We have extensive experience of advising on large scale TUPE and redundancy consultation in a unionised environment; including helping you plan the project and achieve your strategic targets. We are used to working alongside senior barristers in handling industrial relations issues and have recently been advising on a national strike (for Post Office) which lasted for 18 months.  

If things become really critical, we can mobilise our team quickly in order to deal with strikes, including unlawful wildcat strikes. We have been successful in pursuing injunctions against Unions to have strike action called off and are able to help you structure your team internally in order to have the most efficient approach. 

Get in touch

Partner
T:+44 (0)117 989 6756

What we do

We have particular experience in the following areas:

  • Labour relations strategy
  • ​Collective consultation in relation to redundancies and large scale transfers
  • Responding to applications for Union recognition (including hostile applications)
  • Advising on interpretation of collective agreements and collective bargaining
  • Industrial action including advising on major strike or action short of strike
  • Advising on moving away from a collective bargaining method.

Examples of work

  • Advising Post Office on all industrial relations issues, including their recent 18 month period of industrial action with the CWU and CMA. This has included advising on collective bargaining, collective agreements, the ballot and notification procedures and communications with the employee group and pursuing injunctions to prevent strike action taking place.
  • Advising Working Links in relation to industrial relation issues arising from a reorganisation following the introduction of the Work Programme, including defending employment tribunal litigation in relation to the same.
  • Advising dnata (part of the Emirates Group), which operates ground handling services at 75% of the UK's airports, in relation to industrial relations issues. We have advised in relation to injunctions regarding threatened industrial action and both official and unofficial action affecting flights in and out of the UK's busiest airports.
  • Advising North Lincolnshire Homes and Gentoo in relation to collective bargaining issues.
  • Advising public sector bodies (including NHS trusts) and non-departmental public bodies on collective bargaining.