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‘If it’s not broke, don’t try to fix it’ – Government proposed reforms of the Certification Officer are misguided says Usdaw

Date: 08 June 2021 Retail trade union Usdaw describes Government proposals to reform the Certification Officer as the wrong priority at the wrong time.
The Certification Officer was established in 1975, is responsible for overseeing statutory functions relating to trade unions and employers’ associations and works with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “At a time when trade unions, employers and Ministers should be focussed on working together to help the country out of the pandemic, the Government has decided to engage in an unnecessary reform of the Certification Officer. I would strongly advise them not to try to fix something that isn’t broken.
“Worse still they plan to impose a levy on trade unions to fund the operation of the Certification Officer, which will be paid out of the members’ subscriptions. That is quite simply taking money out of the pockets of key workers who have kept the country going throughout the Covid crisis. This appears to be yet another political attack on the trade unions and their members by a Conservative Government. There are already robust and legally enforceable procedures in place to ensure any issues raised by union members are dealt with.
“The pandemic has exposed many workplace injustices, not least how reliant the country is on low-paid workers struggling to make ends meet on insecure contracts. Yet the Government persistently refuses to deliver a much needed new deal for workers, while wrongly focussing on divisive and unnecessary policies.”
Usdaw’s New Deal for Workers calls for:
  • £10 minimum wage for all workers, ending rip-off youth rates and providing a living wage.
  • Minimum contract of 16 hours per week, for everyone who wants it, that reflects normal hours worked and a ban on zero-hour contracts.
  • Better sick pay for all workers, from day one, at average earnings.
  • Protection at work – respect for shopworkers, abuse is not a part of the job.
  • A proper social security system, Universal Credit does not provide a safety net.
  • Job security, with day one employment rights for unfair dismissal and redundancy.
  • Fair treatment and equality for all workers, including equal pay.
  • A voice at work, stop rogue employers refusing to engage with trade unions. 
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers