December 12 2003 The Government has introduced a Bill that would encourage employers and employees to work together as well as allowing unions to expel or exclude racist activists and others whose political behaviour is incompatible with trade union membership.

The Bill would also implement the TUC/CBI framework agreement on Information and Consultation, giving employees the chance to be informed and consulted on management decisions affecting their future.

It would also improve the process whereby unions can gain recognition from employers and enter into collective agreements, where the majority of the workforce wants to.

The Bill would strengthen the rights of trade union members and enable unions to be better regulated. It would ensure that union members have a right to use their union's services and cannot be bribed by employers to relinquish union rights. It would improve the protections against dismissal of workers who take lawfully organised strike action by exempting lock-out days from the eight week unfair dismissal protected period.

The Bill would also provide greater protections for people who request flexible working from unfair dismissal and improve the national minimum wage enforcement regime. The right to be accompanied to a disciplinary or grievance hearing would be clarified.