Guidance

Get help from the CAC after a voluntary agreement

How trade unions and employers can get more help from the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) after a voluntary agreement has been reached.

Employers or trade unions can ask the CAC to decide a method of bargaining when one of the following happens:

  • an employer and union have agreed recognition voluntarily but have been unable to agree a method of bargaining
  • an employer and union have agreed recognition and a method of bargaining but one party contends that the other has failed to follow the agreed method

Eligibility

The following conditions must be met:

  • the union must have made a formal request for recognition
  • the request must have been withdrawn after the parties had reached an agreement
  • if, in addition, the union had made an application to the CAC that application must have been concluded by both parties asking the CAC to take no further action

Make an application

The employer or union should fill in the Application Form Part II (MS Word Document, 137KB) (of Schedule A1 to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992).

The CAC will copy it to the other party and invite their comments. The CAC will also tell you the names of the panel members who will consider the application and the name of the case manager who will be your contact.

The case manager will tell you whether the panel will be making its decision on paper or if a hearing will take place.

What happens next

The CAC decides if there is a voluntary agreement (this is called an ‘agreement for recognition’ in the legislation).

If there is an agreement, but no method of bargaining, the CAC will help the parties agree a method or, if necessary, decide it.

In deciding a method of bargaining the CAC must take into account the Method of Collective Bargaining Statutory Instrument (PDF, 48.7KB, 8 pages) .

If there is an agreement which includes a method of bargaining, the CAC must decide if one party has failed to follow the agreed method.

If it finds it has, the CAC can decide a method of bargaining taking into account the Method of Collective Bargaining Statutory Instrument (PDF, 48.7KB, 8 pages) .

Published 23 October 2014