UK: Union’s anger at changes to rules on payment of subscriptions

Trade union subscriptions will no longer be deducted directly from the pay of employees of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) from March 2015.

DWP confirmed in a letter to the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) on 11 December 2014 that it was stopping the system whereby trade union subscriptions were deducted directly via the payroll system – a process known as ‘check-off’.

PCS claims this represents a political attack on the union in the run up to this year’s General Election, with the intention of disrupting union finances. 

DWP’s justification for ending the check-off system is that there is no statutory obligation for an employer to provide this service and that ‘the removal of check-off aligns with the new obligations for Trade Unions under the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, in relation to how they keep and manage their membership data’.

PCS is making arrangements for all its members to pay via direct debit from their bank accounts.  

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