Student Unions

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered at on 30 March 2016.

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Photo of Lord Stoddart of Swindon Lord Stoddart of Swindon Independent Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Evans of Bowes Park on 23 February (HL6060), whether, in the light of clause 10 of the Trade Union Bill and the laws regarding pre-entry trade union membership, they will take appropriate action to ensure that student unions are bound by the same rules as other unions.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Student unions are not trade unions, as specified by Section 1 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Therefore, none of the reforms being provided by the Trade Union Bill will impact students’ unions.

The Education Act 1994 already requires publicly-funded universities to take reasonable steps to ensure that their students’ union observes the right for students to opt out of membership.

The Green Paper “Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice” sought public views on the role of students’ unions and what further steps could be taken to increase transparency and accountability to individual members. The Government plans to publish a White Paper in response in the spring.

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