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Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974
The Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974 ("TULRA") was a UK Act of Parliament (now repealed) on industrial relations.
Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Long titleAn Act to repeal the Industrial Relations Act 1971; to make provision with respect to the law relating to trades union, employers' associations, workers and employers, including the law relating to unfair dismissal, and with respect to the jurisdiction and procedure of industrial tribunals; and for connected purposes.
Citation1974 c. 52
Territorial extentUnited Kingdom
Dates
Royal assent31 July 1974
Other legislation
Repealed byTrade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992
Status: Repealed
Text of statute as originally enacted
The Act contains rules on the functioning and legal status of trades union, the presumption that a collective agreement is not binding, and immunity of unions who take strike action in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute. Together with the Employment Protection Act 1975,[1] TULRA formed the basis of the Labour Party's employment law programme under the "Social Contract" initiative.
Background
The Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974 was introduced by the Labour Government which succeeded Edward Heath's Conservative administration. TULRA both repealed and replaced the Industrial Relations Act 1971 which had been introduced by Heath's employment minister Robert Carr. The 1971 Act had faced massive opposition from the trade unions, whose industrial action contributed to Heath's implementation of the three day week and ultimately to the defeat of the government.[2]
The victorious Labour Party promptly repealed the Industrial Relations Act 1971, replacing it with their own legislation that was to incorporate the principles within Barbara Castle's 1969 white paper, "In Place of Strife". However, although the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974 scrapped the 1971 Act's "offensive" provisions, it nevertheless effectively re-enacted the remaining bulk of Carr's statute.[3]
The Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974 was itself repealed, being replaced by the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, whose main provisions mirror its predecessor's, albeit now with more complexities and restrictions. It contains rules on trade unions functioning and legal status, the presumption that a collective agreement is not binding, and immunity of unions who take strike action in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute.
References
  1. ^ The Employment Protection Act 1975] was replaced by the Employment Rights Act 1996
  2. ^ Simon Honeyball (2014). Honeyball and Bowers' Textbook on Employment Law. Oxford University Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-19-968562-2.
  3. ^ "Industrial Law" - Elliott & Wood - Sweet & Maxwell
Last edited on 1 November 2020, at 07:58
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