Union subscriptions
Union subscriptions

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Union subscriptions
  • Authorisation
  • Claims
  • Remedies


Many employers enter into arrangements with one or more trade unions for the deduction by the employer of union subscriptions from the pay of workers who are also union members. This is commonly referred to as ‘check off’. However, where such arrangements exist, the employer must not make any deduction from its workers’ pay in respect of union dues unless:

  1. the worker has authorised the making of deductions for union subscriptions from his wages in writing, and

  2. that authorisation has not been withdrawn

When section 116B of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULR(C)A 1992) is brought into effect, certain relevant public sector employers are to be prohibited from making deductions from wages in respect of trade union membership subscriptions unless:

  1. workers have the option to pay those subscriptions by other means, and

  2. the union pays a reasonable sum to the employer for making the deductions

The relevant public sector employers affected are to be specified in regulations. Draft regulations have been published, which are to come into force on 10 March 2018, setting out the relevant public sector employers. Dev

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