§ Mr. Lawrence
asked the Paymaster General whether he is proposing to take any action to seek to ensure that every trade unionist is informed of his right to contract out of paying the political levy.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
Trade unions which have held ballots to retain their political funds are obliged by statute and by their own rules to inform members of their right to contract out of paying the political levy. Any trade unionist who has not been so informed may complain to the court, which has power to require the union concerned to meet its obligations.
I shall be doing all I can to ensure union members are aware of their rights and remedies on this matter.
It should be just as much each trade union's intention as it is the Government's that members should not contribute to a political levy through ignorance either of its existence or of the simple procedure to object to paying.
A member may contract out by submitting to his union a standard exemption notice, obtainable from the union itself or from the certification officer, or by simply notifying the union in writing.
If a member pays the union subscription by deduction from earnings, the employer must cease deduction of the political levy on receipt of notice from the employee that he is exempt from, or has applied to contract out of, paying such contributions.