Government to ban check off across the public sector

Government to ban check off across the public sector

The government has introduced an amendment to the trade union bill which will prohibit check off in the whole of the public sector. It is extremely important that Prospect members in the public sector, who pay their subs through deduction from salary, switch to direct debit.

Check off is where workers authorise the employer to deduct union subscriptions from their salary and pay it direct to the union.

The trade union bill now states: “No relevant public sector employer may make trade union subscription deductions from wages payable to workers.”

The detail of how the ban is to be implemented will be set out in regulations, which are likely to come into force during 2016, but not take effect until early 2017.

Check off has already been removed from much of the civil service, but the bill extends this to the whole of the civil service and all other parts of the public sector. It will also apply to private sector organisations with ‘functions of a public nature’, which have at least partial public funding. Prospect’s employment law update gives more information.

Marion Scovell, head of Prospect Legal, said: “Banning check off is a wholly unjustified attack on unions. The government has not produced any evidence that it is the costly burden they claim and we understand employer costs are minimal.”

The forthcoming ban makes it more important than ever that all Prospect members in the public sector switch from check off to direct debit. See the Prospect video or go to for more information on making the switch.