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Voting Session Turns In Favour Of The Clause 13 Amendment From Trade Union Bill



03/29/2016

The ‘house of lords’ came together to show their dissent toward the Trade Union Bill’s Clause 13 which comprised the safety reps.


Dailycsr.com – 18 March 2016 – According to the arguments of TUC, the “House of Lords” action of striking out the clause from the Trade Union Bill, will empower the government for limiting the “work of safety representatives in the public sector”.
 
On the 16th of March 2016, peers held a voting session whereby “248 to 160” showed consent towards the elimination of the “Clause 13 from the Bill”. The said clause would give the authority to the ministers for restricting the time given to the “trade union reps to carry out their duties” by their employers besides also laying a hand on the “amount of money spent on it”.
 
Moreover, HSW informs:
“The cap would have covered the duties of all trade union reps. The TUC argued that safety reps should not have been included, as they fulfil a statutory role and represent all workers, not just union members”.
 
Nevertheless, the Clause 12 will remain in the Bill whereby giving the government the power of carrying out investigations on the “public sector employers” to scrutinise the  “amount of facility time taken by trade union reps”, the same also includes the “safety reps”.
 
The “Labour’s Lord McKenzie of Luton”, who is a former minister of HSE, took part in a “short debate” that was held prior to the voting session, wherein he informed that “the clause ran contrary to the Health and Safety at Work Act and the EU Framework Directive”, as according to these two bodies the employers need to provide as much time necessary:
“This is as it should be, because it is generally the employer who creates the risks which have to be managed,” he said. “It is not for the government to second-guess in respect of either public sector workplaces in aggregate or individual workplaces in particular.”
 
The amendment that excluded the Clause 13 was signed by the “Baroness Watkins of Tavistock”, a cross-bench peer. Watkins also stated that the proposals made in the Clause 13 were deemed inappropriate or unnecessary:
 “Good managers will oversee and provide transparent data on facility time and should be held accountable for doing so without the need for Clause 13”.
 
However, in reply to Watson, the “Lord Bridges of Headley, a minister in the Cabinet Office”, put up a contrary argument saying that the government is definitely well aware as well as well informed about what “restrictive cap” needed to be introduced and were possible to be complied under “statutory obligations”. In his words:
“We would certainly take account of what was necessary to ensure such union duties could be properly performed.”
 
The voting was welcomed by TUC and it urged the government to leave behind the Bill that is altogether “damaging and divisive”.







References:
http://www.healthandsafetyatwork.com/