Case - Bugden v Bromley

- Michael Ford QC
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Section 145B of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, introduced following the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Wilson v United Kingdom, prohibits an employer making offers to the workforce which has the purpose and effect that terms of employment are no longer determined by collective bargaining.

In practice this section has not figured much in tribunal litigation, perhaps owing to ignorance. However, when Bromley Council made offers to its workforce replacing collective bargaining about pay with “localised” terms and conditions, UNISON members challenged this in the employment tribunal.

The Tribunal upheld the complaint, holding that the sole or main purpose of the letters sent to the employees was that pay was no longer determined by collective bargaining and awarding each claimant £3,600. The case is a warning to other local authorities or private sector bodies seeking to end established collective bargaining arrangements.

Michael Ford QC, instructed by Ben Patrick of UNISON legal department, acted for the claimants.

A copy of the Judgment is above.

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