Consultation on new enforcement powers for the Certification Officer

Close date: 21 May 2017

The Government consults on new enforcement measures for the Certification Officer. It proposes to introduce financial penalties that the Certification Officer may impose on trade unions or employers' associations that have breached their statutory obligations. Level 1 will apply to statutory obligations that if breached are considered to be the most severe (and attract a maximum fine of £20,000). Level 2 will apply to breaches that involve failure of governance (and attract a maximum fine of £10,000). Level 3 will apply to breaches of requirements to provide information, and compliance with investigatory requirements and internal union rules (and attract a maximum fine of £5,000). Where the union or employers' association has a membership size that is less than 100,000 members the amount of the penalty will be reduced by 50%. Where a penalty is imposed, it cannot be less than £200 regardless of the type of breach or size of union.

The consultation seeks views on the detail of the new financial penalties regime, including: whether or not its approach to the level of penalty by type of obligation breached and the maximum amounts are appropriate; and on the proposal to reduce the penalty by 50% for smaller unions and employers' associations. It also seeks views on the draft Trade Union (Financial Penalties) Regulations, which will introduce the new regime.
Consultation document: Trade Union Act 2016 - consultation on the Certification Officer's enforcement powers