Guide

Recognising and derecognising a trade union

Introduction

A trade union works to protect and advance the interests of its members. One of the ways a trade union achieves this is by negotiating with employers about the pay and conditions under which its members work.

Additional services that trade unions may offer their members include financial help, legal advice and the representation of individual members at disciplinary and grievance hearings with the employer.

Trade unions: recognising and derecognising them

Where employers have agreed to bargain with a trade union, they are said to 'recognise' that trade union. Where employers have ceased bargaining with a trade union, they are said to have 'derecognised' the trade union.

This guide explains when and how a trade union might apply to your business for recognition. It describes the procedures relating to, and the consequences of, voluntary and statutory recognition and derecognition of a trade union. Finally, it looks at the employment rights of workers covered by bargaining arrangements and their rights when unions are seeking recognition on their behalf.