The amendment adds a reference to the new section 32ZC (inserted by clause 15) in section 45D of the 1992 Act. The effect is that decisions made by the Certification Officer in relation to the enforcement of the new annual return requirements provided for by clause 15 are subject to a right of appeal.
The amendment rectifies a small omission in the clause relating to appeal rights. Where a union fails to comply with the new annual reporting requirements, the certification officer will have the power under the clause to make a declaration to that effect. If the certification officer makes a declaration, he will have the power to make an enforcement order unless it is in inappropriate to do so; he will also, under clause 16 and schedule 3, have the power to issue a financial penalty.
It has always been our intention that if the certification officer makes such a declaration or order, the union will have a route of appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal on a point of law. That is consistent with the approach taken elsewhere in the 1992 Act. However, the clause as it stands will not provide for such rights unless a reference to the new provisions is inserted into the correct place in the 1992 Act. The amendment corrects that oversight. I trust that hon. Members will be content to accept this minor amendment.
I appreciate the comments the Minister made. Given that this is a rare chink in the cloud that allows trade unions some rights to challenge use of the draconian powers provided for elsewhere in the Bill and in the clause, I do not intend to oppose the amendment. However, we will oppose the clause to which it relates.