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Trade Unions: Membership

Question for Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

UIN 30661, tabled on 10 March 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what sanctions the Certification Officer can implement against trades unions which fail to compile and maintain an accurate register of members; and on what occasions such sanctions have been used in the last 10 years.

Answered on

21 April 2016

Section 24(1) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 currently requires trade unions to keep registers of their members’ names and addresses and to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that these registers are accurate and up-to-date.

Under the 1992 Act, if the Certification Officer finds that a union has breached this duty, he must make a declaration of his findings and may make an enforcement order. Failure to comply with the Certification Officer’s enforcement order may be treated as contempt of court.

In the last 10 years, the Certification Officer has made one declaration that Unite the Union breached section 24(1) of the 1992 Act. This case was Mr J Hicks v Unite the Union (No2) (D/32-39/14-15). The Certification Officer decided that it was not appropriate to issue an enforcement order in this case.

Answered by

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills