But sometimes employers and unions are not able to enter into a voluntary recognition agreement. In these cases, the union may apply for legal recognition, provided it has met certain basic conditions: the union must have already submitted a formal application for recognition to the employer; The organization employs at least 21 workers; The union must have at least 10% members and perhaps obtain a majority in a ballot; and if the employer has proposed to include Acas, the union must have given its consent within ten working days. If you do not want to recognize the union and have more than 21 employees, you can apply for legal recognition from the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC). Acas offers trade union recognition training for people who want to understand the legal aspects of cooperation with trade unions and improve their skills in collective agreements. If you cannot accept the bargaining unit or if you have accepted the bargaining unit but the union has not been recognized, the union may apply for legal recognition from the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC). About one-fifth of the disputes Acas faces each year relate to union recognition. But there is no need for an argument for Acas to help. It can provide confidential information and advice on union recognition and many other industrial relations issues and help employers, workers and unions work together to achieve the best results. You have 10 business days to meet the demand. You have 10 days to propose that the advisory, conciliation and arbitration service (Acas) be consulted to support the negotiations. The union must ask you in writing – the employer – if you agree to recognize them voluntarily. As a general rule – and with ease – an employer voluntarily recognizes the union without resorting to legal procedures.
Even after successful union recognition, Acas can help both parties develop successful procedural agreements and build a good working relationship that fosters a cooperative style from the outset. You have 20 working days or more if you do it with the union to reach an agreement: as an employer, you may have to work with unions representing groups of your employees, sometimes called collective agreement units. If a union wants to negotiate wages and working conditions with an employer on behalf of a group of workers (so-called „bargaining unit“), it must be recognized by that employer. Visit the Acas training course, workshops and projects for more information.