4. Employers: union membership is less than 50%

If the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) declared recognition without a ballot more than 3 years ago, a union can be derecognised if the level of union membership in the bargaining unit falls below 50%.

Apply to the CAC to hold a secret ballot of employees on whether collective bargaining should be ended.

You can only apply if:

  • the CAC declared recognition without a ballot more than 3 years ago
  • there haven’t been any applications to CAC for derecognition in the previous 3 years

Ask the union to voluntarily derecognise

You must send a written request to the unions, stating:

  • that fewer than 50% of the workers in the bargaining unit are union members
  • what the current bargaining arrangements are, eg how many workers are in the bargaining unit, where they work
  • that the request is made under Schedule A1 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992

The union has 10 working days to respond to your request.

You can end the bargaining arrangements and derecognise the union if they accept your request.

The union rejects your request but is willing to negotiate

You have 10 days to negotiate an agreement about derecognition. You can extend this period if the union agrees.

The union doesn’t respond or rejects your request

Apply to CAC to hold a secret ballot of workers to see if they support derecognition.

You can’t apply if there have been any applications to CAC for an end to bargaining arrangements in the previous 3 years.

Provide evidence (eg letters supporting your application, workplace surveys) that less than 50% of the bargaining unit are union members.

Send the completed form and your supporting documents to CAC. You must send copies of the form and evidence to the union.

Central Arbitration Committee
22nd Floor, Euston Tower
286 Euston Road
London
NW1 3JJ

What happens next

CAC has 10 working days to consider your application.

You may be asked to attend a hearing if CAC needs more information before deciding whether to grant your application.

The CAC will arrange for a secret ballot of the workers to be held if your application is successful.

You will have to continue negotiating with the union if your application fails.