Clause 5 - Information to members etc about result of ballot

Part of Trade Union Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 20th October 2015.

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Photo of Stephen Doughty Stephen Doughty Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills) 4:00 pm, 20th October 2015

I do not intend to detain the Committee long on the clause because we have discussed part of it, but I do want to raise a couple of points. Under section 231 of the 1992 Act, trade unions are already required to inform members and relevant employers about the results of ballots—how many votes were cast, how many members voted yes and no, and the number of spoilt votes. Clause 5, as we have said, would add to the information that trade unions are required to include. They would be required to inform members and employers of the number who were entitled to vote in the ballot, whether the number of votes cast reached the 50% turnout requirement, and, if the 40% threshold applies—although, of course, we have no idea where that will apply at the moment—whether that was met.

As with many measures in the Bill, and as I outlined in the debates on previous clauses, the Government are simply seeking to introduce additional administrative requirements, which are unnecessary and designed to disrupt and deter trade unions from effectively representing their members. We will oppose this clause, for it is another example of that blue tape which, if it were proposed for any other organisation, would rightly be regarded as needless bureaucracy, and I am sure the Government would be wanting to call it out as such.