Form AR21: Annual return for trade unions
Blank form AR21 with guidance notes
MS Word Document, 932KB
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email email@example.com. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.
A Form AR21 is used by trade unions to make an annual return to the Certification Officer.
The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 amended the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. As part of the changes, trade unions are required to submit a Membership Audit Certificate (MAC) to the Certification Officer.
A trade union is required to submit a MAC, to the same timescale as its annual return, for the first full reporting year following 6 April 2015 and each year thereafter. A union has five months after the end of its reporting year to submit a MAC.
For trade unions which submit a return in respect of a calendar year:
|Reporting year||1 January 2016– 31 December 2016|
|5 month for AR21/ MAC completion||1 January 2017–31 May 2017|
|AR 21 (including MAC) due for submission||1 June 2017|
For trade unions which submit a return in respect of a financial year:
|Reporting year||1 April 2016– 31 March 2017|
|5 month for AR21/ MAC completion||1 April 2017–31 August 2017|
|AR 21 (including MAC) due for submission||1 September 2017|
There are different requirements when it comes to a trade union submitting a MAC depending upon whether it has more or less than 10,000 members in the preceding reporting period. A union with 10,000 members or less at the end of its preceding reporting period is only required to submit a MAC that has been signed by an authorised officer of the union. A union with more than 10,000 members at the end of its preceding reporting period is required to appoint an ‘Assurer’ who will provide it with the MAC it needs to submit.
The department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published guidance on submitting MACs, which is available from its website: BIS Guidance: trade union register of members and membership audit certificate requirements.
A trade union that is required to submit a MAC alongside its return should download and complete: Form AR21: Annual return for a trade union with MAC (ONLY to be used by a union in respect of a reporting period which begins ON OR AFTER 6 April 2015).
A trade union that is NOT required to submit a MAC alongside its return should download and complete: Form AR21: Annual return for a trade union (ONLY to be used by a union where its reporting period begins BEFORE 6 April 2015).