The Government has announced that it will be back tracking on its controversial proposals to stop employees from paying their trade union subscriptions via wage deductions.
They had originally said last year that as part of the approaching Trade Union Bill, they were planning to put an end to what is referred to as the ‘check-off’ process.
Union leaders had vigorously argued that stopping this process would make it complicated for their members and this move could result in a significant drop in funds.
But Lord Bridges of Headley has now announced that the proposals would be halted and the plan to remove the check off will be removed when the Bill next goes through the House of Lords.
He said: “Arguments have been made with considerable vim and vigour that by ending check off and moving to direct debit, those on low pay and especially those who have payday loans might have to cease being trade union members or have to pay extra bank charges.”
He told his fellow peers that the Government had not intended to undermine the trade unions, and paying subscriptions through salary deductions, will continue as before. But he added that the unions must carry the administrative costs.
The Government’s U-turn was welcomed by the TUC. Their General secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Banning workers from choosing to pay union subs in a convenient way through their payroll would, as many have warned, damage industrial relations and morale in key services.”