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Trade Unions: Membership

Question for Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

UIN 30660, tabled on 10 March 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what guidance the Certification Officer has produced for trades unions on requirements to compile and maintain an accurate register of members; and what monitoring the Certification Officer undertakes of trades unions' compliance with those requirements.

Answered on

25 April 2016

Under Section 24 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, unions are required to compile and maintain an up to date register of members’ names and addresses. The 1992 Act gives a right to members to make a complaint to the Certification Officer if they consider that the union has failed to comply with this duty. The Certification Officer ensures compliance by making enquiries and, where appropriate, issuing an enforcement order, where he finds a breach.

Under the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, unions will be required to submit a Membership Audit Certificate to the Certification Officer (with the first MACs expected from October this year). This will provide greater assurance that the duty under Section 24 of the 1992 Act is being complied with.

The Certification Officer has not published guidance in relation to these requirements. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published guidance in March 2015.

This guidance, which also sets out previous Certification Officer decisions on how unions can take reasonably practicable steps to comply with this duty, is on the Gov.UK website. A link to this guidance is provided below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/412221/bis-14-142-guidance-on-trade-union-register-of-members.pdf

Answered by

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills