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Trade Union Political Funds

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what advice and guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Certification Officer has provided on whether trade union members who opt out of a political fund of their trade union should (i) be refunded and (ii) not be charged the cost of the political fund contribution when they pay their union subscriptions. (158689)

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has produced guidance on the law regarding political funds in a publication entitled “Trade union political funds: a guide for trade unions, their members and others”. That guidance describes the law relating to the freedom of union members to contract out of paying the political levy.

The Certification Officer has produced guidance on contracting out of a political fund in a publication entitled “Guidance for trade unions and employers’ associations wishing to establish a political fund”. The guidance contains the statutory requirements relating to the manner of giving effect to exemptions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Certification Officer has produced on whether a trade union may use non-political fund resources to fund an affiliated organisation that then engages in political activity. (158690)

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has produced guidance on the law regarding political funds in a publication entitled “Trade union political funds: a guide for trade unions, their members and others”. That guidance describes the law relating to unlawful expenditure on political objects.

The Certification Officer has also produced two guidance publications: “Guidance for trade unions and employers’ associations wishing to establish a political fund” and “Guide to political fund review ballots”. These contain the statutory provisions which restrict the expenditure of union funds on political objectives.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidance his (a) Department and (b) the Certification Officer has produced on whether trade union members who opt out of the political fund should pay a different union membership fee from those who remain in the fund. (153418)

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has produced guidance on the law regarding political funds in a publication entitled ‘Trade union political funds: a guide for trade unions, their members and others’. That guidance describes the law relating to the freedom of union members to contract out of paying the political levy.

The Certification Officer has also produced guidance on this issue in a publication entitled ‘Guidance for trade unions and employers' associations wishing to establish a political fund’.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Certification Officer has produced on whether application forms to join a trade union should mention the rights of the trade union member to opt out of the political fund. (153420)

Neither the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform nor the Certification Officer has produced guidance on this topic.