The Trade Union (Wales) Act 2017

04 October 2017

The Trade Union (Wales) Act 2017 came into force on 13 September 2017 and dis-applies certain provisions in the Trade Union Act 2017 including restrictions on deduction of union subscriptions from wages by employers (commonly known as check-off).

The Trade Union (Wales) Act 2017 (the Act) applies to devolved Welsh public bodies and to trade unions in public services delivered by devolved Welsh public bodies. It disapplies to those bodies the following provisions in the Trade Union Act 2016 (the 2016 Act) which was introduced by the UK Government and passed by Parliament:

  • A requirement for a 40% ballot threshold to be met before workers employed in ‘important’ public services may take industrial action

  • A requirement for public sector employers to monitor arrangements for time spent on facility time and a power for the Secretary of State to limit facility time

  • Conditions on the circumstances in which deductions of trade union subscriptions may be made from wages


The Act also includes a provision that prohibits devolved Welsh public bodies from using agency workers to provide cover during industrial action. There is existing law that prohibits agencies from supplying workers to provide cover but the UK Government has said that it intends to repeal it.

Devolved Welsh public bodies include the Welsh NHS, local authorities, schools, fire services and Welsh Government Sponsored Bodies in Wales. The Act does not dis-apply provisions in the 2016 Act in relation to services provided by a contractor to a devolved Welsh public body.

Further details about the dis-applied provisions are available on the Welsh Government’s website.