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Small Firms (Closed Shop Agreements)

Volume 981: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has to introduce further measures to ameliorate the effect of closed shops on small businesses.

The Government intend that once the Employment Bill is enacted there will be wider protection against unfair dismissal in closed shops that secret ballots showing overwhelming support for new closed shops will be necessary if these are to provide a defence in cases of unfair dismissal; and that an employer, faced by industrial action to dismiss someone unfairly for not being a union member, will be able to join in any tribunal proceedings the person or union taking or threatening the industrial action. The Bill also provides a new right of action where industrial action is taken at one firm in order to require a different firm elsewhere to conclude a closed shop.These provisions will apply to all employers large and small, and it is not intended to make any further special provision for small employers.