Consultation on ballot thresholds in important public services

Closed 9 Sep 2015

Opened 15 Jul 2015


Trade Unions can play an important role in the work place. They have a legitimate need to represent their members’ interests, and sometimes that involves balloting for industrial action. However, there is also a responsibility to ensure that industrial action is only used as a measure of last resort and where there is clear and ongoing support for doing so.

The Trade Union Bill which the Government introduced in to Parliament in July includes provisions to ensure industrial action is always based on a clear majority of votes by a reasonable proportion of a union’s members, and based on up to date and audited membership lists, stating clearly the reason for the dispute.

The Government is introducing a new 50% participation threshold to all trade union ballots for industrial action.

It is also introducing a new 40% important public services threshold, which means ballots in those sectors will need support of at least 40% of those entitled to vote.

This consultation seeks evidence on who within the fire, health, education, transport, border security and nuclear decommissioning sectors should be subject to the new 40% important public services threshold.





  • SMEs (small and medium businesses)
  • Large businesses (over 250 staff)
  • Multinational businesses
  • Trade bodies
  • Legal representative
  • Medium business (50 to 250 staff)
  • Micro business (up to 9 staff)
  • Small business (10 to 49 staff)
  • Trade union or staff association
  • Employment lawyers
  • Employment advisers
  • Businesses
  • Individual employees
  • Individual


  • Workplace rights
  • Regulation and red tape