Trades Union Certification Officer

The Trades Union Certification Officer was established in the United Kingdom by Act of Parliament in 1975. They head the Certification Office for Trade Unions and Employers' Associations.

Responsibilities edit

The Certification Officer is responsible for:

  • maintaining a list of trade unions and employers' associations
  • receiving and scrutinising annual returns from trade unions and employers' associations
  • determining complaints concerning trade union elections, certain other ballots and breaches of trade union rules
  • ensuring observance of statutory requirements governing mergers between trade unions and between employers' associations
  • overseeing the political funds and the finances of trade unions and employers' associations
  • certifying the independence of trade unions

Certification Officer edit

David Cockburn was appointed on 1 August 2001 and re-appointed in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2012. Mr Cockburn retired on 30 June 2016.[1][2] He has chaired the Industrial Law Society (ILS), the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA), and the Employment Law Committee of the Law Society. He was also the founder treasurer of the Institute of Employment Rights. He is currently a vice-president of the ILS and the ELA and a member of the editorial board of the Encyclopaedia of Employment Law and the Industrial Law Journal. He is also a part-time chairman of Employment Tribunals and a Visiting Professor at the Middlesex University Business School.

Gerard Walker was appointed as the Certification Officer by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on 29 June 2016. The appointment was on an interim basis for the period 1 July 2016 to 30 November 2016.[3] The appointment was extended on 24 November 2016 and was extended until December 2017. Walker was responsible for a ruling that foster carers could not form a union, which was then reversed by the Court of Appeal in National Union of Professional Foster Carers v Certification Officer [2021] EWCA Civ 548 as a violation of fundamental human rights and the Act of Parliament.

Sarah Bedwell was appointed as Certification Officer in December 2017.[4]

Recognition edit

In order to be recognised by the Officer, a union must first apply to be listed – a simple paper process, costing £150. To be recognised as an independent union, with all the attendant legal benefits that follow, a union must undergo a more rigorous inspection to confirm its independence from employers. This currently costs £4,066.

References edit

  1. ^ "Annual Report of the Certification Officer : 2015-2016" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  2. ^ "David Cockburn - GOV.UK". Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Mr Gerard Walker - GOV.UK". Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Sarah Bedwell announced as the new Certification Officer". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2023-08-24.

External links edit