The headline employment proposal from the Conservative party is changing the laws on industrial action by:
- introducing a minimum 50% turnout in ballots in order for strikes to be lawful and in addition, for strikes affecting health, transport, fire services or schools, requiring backing from 40% of eligible union members
- removing the restrictions that prevent employers from using agency workers to cover for striking employees
- preventing strike action being taken on the basis of ballots "conducted a long time in the past". There had been a specific proposal on "rolling ballots" – to impose a three month time limit after the ballot for industrial action to take place – but this has not found its way into the manifesto.
Other previously publicised "pledges" on strikes that have not been carried forward into the manifesto but which may resurface at a later date include:
- increasing the notice of industrial action to be given to employers from seven to 14 days
- making illegal picketing a criminal offence
- requiring unions to set out on the ballot paper the exact form the proposed action would take, with a vote on each aspect of the dispute.
In its manifesto the Scottish National Party specifically opposes these changes.