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Trade Unions

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer of 2 March 2009, Official Report, column 1212W, on trade unions: political levy, what the timetable is for the staff handbook to be amended to inform staff of their rights to opt out. (269924)

The next revision of the staff handbook is planned to be released in the autumn of 2009. Following the appropriate consultation process, an amendment to inform staff of their right to opt out of the political levies operated by those recognised trade unions which have a political fund will be included in the revised version.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission with reference to the House of Commons Facilities Time Agreement, whether recognised trade unions in the House of Commons are permitted to use House of Commons facilities allocated to them for (a) political activity and (b) political campaigning. (270210)

The House of Commons facilities time agreement sets out the principles and practices which govern the facilities made available by the House of Commons service to employees who are accredited representatives or members of unions recognised by the House of Commons service. Facilities are provided to ensure effective negotiation, consultation and communication between management and unions. The facilities are not provided for political activity or political campaigning.