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The right to membership

The Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993 introduced a new s 174 into the TULR(C)A 1992, so repealing the protection originally contained in ss 4 and 5 of the Employment Act 1980. This new s 174 guarantees the right of every person to join a trade union of their choice and the right not to be expelled from a trade union unless the exclusion50 or expulsion is expressly permitted by the statute. Section 174(2) outlines the permissible reasons. (i) If an applicant or member is excluded because they do not satisfy an ‘enforceable

membership requirement’ contained in the rule book then the exclusion is permitted. The statute continues by stating that a membership requirement in the rule book is only ‘enforceable’ in three circumstances: if it limits membership by virtue of requiring specified qualifications or experience; if membership is limited to members of a specified trade or profession; or to particular grades or categories of jobs.51