The GFSB has issued a press release but wished to update our members directly.
In 2020 when the new legislation was first brought to the attention of the GFSB, the GFSB stated it was very concerned that although the spirit of the UK Act was being followed, much of it has been left out in the Gibraltar draft which made the process less consultative, without scope for negotiation, and it was heavily biased towards recognition of unions being imposed on workplaces with significant punitive measures for those who are unable to cooperate.
The GFSB strongly opposed an Act which increased the ability of unions to bring aggressive and adversarial demands to workplaces, with little provision for the employer’s rights from being appropriately addressed or supported throughout that process. In the case of small businesses, this approach would have been very damaging indeed.
The GFSB also highlighted that many small businesses had been catastrophically hit by Covid and the onset of Brexit limitations to market forces and client base.
The GFSB requested that the Government took into consideration the fact that many of Gibraltar’s small businesses are family-run businesses and would require as much support and protection to weather the current economic storm as their employees. In fact, felt it would be better to focus on improving employee and employer relations through dialogue and conciliation processes than placing further requirements such as enforced collective bargaining without correct independent support of the process.
If a mechanism to facilitate collective bargaining by unions in all workplaces was required, then it would request at the very least, the appropriate support structure and advisory body must also be established to ensure fair and justifiable implementation and application.
There is suitable and sufficient legislation already protecting the rights and welfare of employees in Gibraltar and the current Law exists to protect workers’ rights.
Employment (Trade Union Recognition) Regulations 2023
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