Industrial disputes

Legal issues following industrial action

Guide

An employer may re-engage an employee dismissed during official industrial action on whatever terms the employer chooses, provided it offers the same terms to all dismissed workers.

During the three months following dismissal, an employer cannot selectively re-engage some employees and not others.

However, after three months, the employer can offer to re-engage any of the employees dismissed.

Any week during which an employee takes part in a strike doesn't count towards their continuous employment. This means that a calculation of an employee's length of employment will not include those days on which the employee was on strike. This could be important if an employee later needs to rely on their total length of employment to claim certain rights, eg statutory redundancy pay or unfair dismissal. See continuous employment and employee rights.

However, taking part in a strike won't break an employee's continuity of employment. This means that the terms and conditions of their employment contract won't be discontinued during the strike and then restarted afterwards, but will effectively continue during the strike action.