Apply to have a trade union or employers' association on the public list
How to have a trade union or employers’ association added to or removed from the Certification Officer’s list.
The Certification Officer maintains a public list of currently active trade unions and a list of employers’ associations in accordance with the provisions of sections 2 to 4 and sections 123 to 125 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (‘The 1992 Act’).
Listing is voluntary. However, for trade unions, listing is an essential preliminary to applying for a certificate of independence.
Scheduled (unlisted) bodies
Organisations that are not listed are known as ‘scheduled bodies’ and appear on the schedule to the public list, kept by the Certification Officer. They must still comply with the same legal requirements for trade unions and employers’ associations, such as making annual returns.
The returns from the scheduled bodies are available for inspection in the same way as for listed organisations.
Apply to be listed
Contact the Certification Officer to ask for a union or an employers’ association to be added to the list.
Any organisation of workers or of employers may apply to be listed. If the Certification Officer is satisfied that the organisation falls within the appropriate definition in the 1992 Act for trade unions or employers’ associations its name will be entered on the appropriate list.
The act does not impose any test of size or effectiveness but entry in the list is not automatic.
The Certification Officer will test whether the organisation satisfies the statutory definition.
There is a statutory fee for making an application.
Amalgamations of organisations already listed
There are simplified provisions for the listing of a trade union or unincorporated employers’ association formed by the amalgamation of 2 or more organisations that are already on the list .
Status of listed organisations
The fact of being on the relevant list is evidence (in Scotland, ‘sufficient evidence’) that the organisation is a trade union or employers’ association.
Protection of the organisation’s name
The name of a listed trade union or employers’ association is protected by the provision that no other organisation can be listed with a similar name.
Tax relief provision
A listed organisation can get tax relief on provident benefits (under section 981 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010).
Appeal against a refusal to list
Any organisation aggrieved by the refusal of the Certification Officer to enter its name in the relevant list may appeal on a point of law to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Contact their office for more details:
- England Wales: 0300 123 1024
- Scotland: 0141 354 8575
Removal from the list
You can make an official request on behalf of your organisation for removal from the list. Put your request in writing:
Removal due to inactivity
The Certification Officer must also remove the name of an organisation from the list if he is satisfied that it no longer exists.
Removal due to ineligibility
If at any time it appears to the Certification Officer that an organisation whose name is entered on the relevant list is not a trade union or an employers’ association its name may be removed from the list.
The organisation concerned will be given an opportunity to make representations as to why its name should not be removed. There is a right of appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal on a point of law against removal of a name from a list.
View the current list
The current lists are available for inspection free of charge at the office of the Certification Officer
286 Euston Road
The lists for organisations having their head office in Scotland are also available for inspection at the office of the Assistant Certification Officer for Scotland
69a George Street
To apply or to ask for more information, contact the Certification Office.
Published: 16 September 2014
From: Certification Officer