HC Deb 27 January 2000 vol 343 cc572-3
12. Mr. Vernon Coaker (Gedling)

What progress is being made in implementing the provisions of the Employment Relations Act 1999 relating to statutory trade union recognition. [105760]

The Minister for Competitiveness (Mr. Alan Johnson)

The Government are making the necessary preparations to bring these provisions into force in the near future.

Mr. Coaker

May I urge my hon. Friend to bring the provisions into force as soon as possible? This is a radical piece of legislation, which is much needed. Workers in my constituency who are seeking to organise themselves on a trade union basis are looking forward to these measures. They need the strength of a trade union to protect themselves in the workplace.

Mr. Johnson

My hon. Friend can be assured that we will put the legislation in place as soon as possible. He will understand that major pieces of subordinate legislation are also necessary, including codes of practice on union access to workers during a ballot on recognition, and on the right of individuals to be accompanied to each discipline and grievance hearing. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service is preparing those for us at present, and we shall need to consult on them. The important thing, as I know my hon. Friend will accept, is not the speed at which the measures will be introduced—although that is obviously an imperative—but to ensure that, once introduced, they are fair and balanced in accordance with the legislation.