Trade Unions – New powers for the Certification Officer to issue fines of up to £20,000 against trade unions that breach governance rules are proposed in a consultation issued by the Dept for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as agreed during the passage last year of the Trades Union Act.

Currently the CO – who is the union regulator – can only issue a declaration or enforcement order if a union breaks its statutory obligations under the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act.

Under the proposals – which are already subject to compromise in comparison with original proposals in the Trades Union Bill – the breaches against which the CO would apply the proposed powers include

  • failing to ensure senior positions are not held by someone with a criminal record
  • breaching requirements for elections to senior positions
  • mismanagement of political funds

‘Trade Union Act 2016: consultation on the Certification Officer’s enforcement powers’ links to the consultation and draft regulations.