Check-off u-turn in Trade Union Bill

20 April 2016

The Government has backed away from plans to ban workers from opting to pay their union subscriptions through payroll in the public sector – the system known as ‘check-off’.

The TUC has reported the news that check-off would not be prohibited, as originally intended through the Trade Union Bill. Ministers announced in the House of Lords this week that workers could continue to opt for check-off where unions reimburse any costs to the employer.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said the TUC are delighted that the Government has listened and that this decision is the result of months of union and TUC lobbying.

He said that banning workers from choosing to pay union subs in a convenient way through their payroll would, as many have warned, damaged industrial relations and morale in key services.

While acknowledging that this is an important milestone, the TUC remains opposed to the Trade Union Bill in its entirety and will continue to push for further changes when it is debated again in the House of Commons next week. They will be urging MPs to back sensible amendments from the Lords around the use of electronic balloting, facility time and union political funds.