As regular readers (Sid and Doris Blogger) will be aware, this blog has some familiarity with the work of the Certification Officer, a long established role with various quasi-regulatory powers in connection with trade unions.
Among the many unfortunate things done by the Trade Union Act 2016, the Certification Officer has been given powers (for which, as far as I know they had never asked, nor had anyone else asked for them to be given such powers) proactively to initiate investigations into trade unions – and to impose fines upon trade unions for various breaches, the remedies for which are – at present – declarations and enforcement orders.
This is an unnecessary further restriction upon the rights of our trade unions – and quite absurd. If, for example, a trade union has breaches statutory rules concerning the election of its Executive or General Secretary then the people who have been wronged are the members of the trade union (from whose subscriptions any fine will be paid into the public purse). As someone who has, with a heavy heart, brought a complaint to the Certification Officer about just such a matter, I am quite clear that a fine levied on the Union would be no sort of remedy at all.
The Government are currently consulting on the level of such fines – so you can have your say (for what good it may do).
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