Trade Union Bill

Further written evidence submitted by UNISON (TUB 38)

Re: Supplementary evidence to the Trade Union Bill Committee

During my oral evidence on 15th October you asked me to put one of my answers on the paying of union subscriptions via pay roll (known as Check Off or DOCAS) in writing to the Committee as useful extra factual evidence. I am happy to do so.

UNISON has negotiated 9,334 voluntary ‘check off’ agreements with employers in all sectors of the economy. Of these 7,242 agreements are in the public sector. These employers have all freely entered in to these arrangements as part of constructive industrial relations and none has been asking for their removal. Indeed many HR professionals value the information it gives them for a variety of purposes.

The second main point I made was in many cases we pay an administrative fee or levy to employers to cover the cost and in some cases the fee raises valuable extra revenue for the public body over and above the actual cost, which is small.

For example, fees/levies are:

Fife Council – 5% of union subscriptions collected

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust – 5% of union subscriptions collected

Bradford City Council - £38,000 pa

Derbyshire County Council - £20,000 pa

I would repeat my offer to the Government made at the Committee that UNISON is happy to cover the costs of ‘Check Off’ so there is no cost to the tax-payer.

October 2015

Prepared 28th October 2015