Lawful Industrial Action (Minor Errors) Bill
David Nuttall (Bury North, Conservative)
My hon. Friend makes an interesting point, which we will look at in more detail when I look at the next paragraph of the subsection. The problem with the Bill is that it not only introduces the novel concept of substantial compliance, but extends the scope of the 1992 Act to cover not just the ballot but the notice provision. Therefore, it is doing two things at the same time. Incidentally, the provision also extends the number of sections to which the exemption applies, which we will look at later.
May I move on to the subsection (1)(b) of section 232B, which states that the failure will be disregarded if
"the failure is accidental and on a scale which is unlikely to affect the result of the ballot".
It seems that, when the 1992 Act was amended, the then Labour Government knew exactly what they were doing. They were providing for minor errors to be discounted. In section 232B, they specifically allowed for a failure which is
"accidental and on a scale which is unlikely to affect the result of the ballot or, as the case may be, the failures are accidental and taken together are on a scale which is unlikely to affect the result of the ballot".
That seems to be straightforward and simple to understand.