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Trade Union Political Funds and Levy

Published Thursday, August 8, 2013

Trade Union Political Funds and Levy

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This note summarises the law and recent debate about trade union political funds.

Trade unions wishing to contribute to political parties or engage in other political activities must establish a political fund. Under legislation introduced in 1984, unions must ballot their members every ten years on the continuance of these funds.

Individual union members in Great Britain can contract-out of paying the political levy. Those who remain contracted-in cannot decide on the use of their individual contribution. The use of political funds (including whether to contribute to a political party) is a matter of union policy, subject to approval at the union’s annual conference.

Commons Briefing papers SN00593

Author: Douglas Pyper

Topics: Employment, Industrial relations, Political parties

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