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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: That is not the CAC's function; it is there to institute procedures where it is not possible to achieve agreement in any other way. It is not the job of the CAC to determine the negotiating structure within any individual workplace.

Baroness Miller of Hendon: We firmly believe that when bargaining is imposed on parties, as distinct from what they mutually agree, it must be minimal. I agree with the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh.

Lord McCarthy: The CAC is the only body that has authority to institute negotiation. When there is no agreement, it is a maximum. The point I am making is that this is a change of policy. What is stated in the Bill is not what was contained in Fairness at Work, where it was stated to be a minimum, and if it had been, it would not have been necessary for Mr. Willis in Committee and the other place to move the amendment which would change it from a minimum to a maximum. It would be much more plausible and sensible if the Bill were an expression of Fairness at Work.

The spread of voluntary recognition cannot be promoted--I do not believe that that is what the Opposition want--by limiting the scope of statutory recognition. Because of the way in which the scope has been limited, with a concentration on wages, hours and holidays, it will often not be plausible, reasonable or sensible for the CAC to recommend any recognition at all.

Also, in Amendment No. 2 the Government propose a choice. I call it a pontoon game. The choice in future will be that if you receive a small amount of recognition outside the three statutory subjects, you will have to take a chance. You will have to "tick or twist", because you cannot go before the CAC and keep what you have. You will have to give it up and hope that you will get more. That kind of chopping and changing on the subject matter of recognition is not conducive to extending the scope of recognition.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I really cannot accept that. My noble friend suggests that there has been some change between the White Paper and this Bill. He suggests that we are now imposing a maximum rather than a minimum, and that the difference is in the role of the CAC. That is not the case. Paragraph 4.18 on page 25 of the White Paper states that the CAC will decide. Regarding,


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    There is no change between the Bill and the White Paper.

Lord McCarthy: In that case I cannot understand why the government representative in Committee in another place thought it necessary to move the amendment that he did. He changed the face of the Bill, giving as his reason that the Bill as drafted did not represent present government policy.

The Government have carefully, intelligently and shrewdly sought to fashion a very different system of recognition to the system we had in the previous period. I am not attempting to bring back that system, merely the small parts of it that worked. The noble Lord knows as well as I do that there are many reasons why the previous statutory recognition procedure did not work. It was mainly because access could not be obtained; it could be decided to whom the procedure applied. Employers had ways of prevaricating. But it was never because the CAC had discretion in deciding the subject matter of recognition. Nevertheless, at this stage I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 2:


Page 17, line 29, at end insert--
("(8) The meaning of collective bargaining given by section 178(1) shall not apply.
(9) Sub-paragraphs (6) to (8) do not apply in construing paragraph 30.")

The noble Lord said: I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 60 and 61. We have already discussed the issue of pay, hours and holidays. Clearly, we have not achieved consensus. We shall have to attempt to do so. There are two related changes to the Government's position which need to be made to Part I of the schedule. The first is to ensure the "collective bargaining" covers only pay, hours and holidays rather than the whole range of subjects in Section 178 of the consolidation Act. That was the issue debated in relation to Amendment No. 1. That is the definition proposed in Fairness at Work, and it is already part of the Bill. It is also necessary to disapply expressly the definition in the 1992 Act. That is the purpose of the new paragraph (8) which Amendment No. 2 would insert in paragraph 2.

The reason for imposing a collective bargaining method over a restricted range of subjects is to give the union and employer incentives to negotiate as to what other matters should be bargained about. That is why it is not a maximum. Pay, hours and holidays are intended to be a fair minimum set of subjects for collective bargaining which the employer and the union will often wish to extend.

The second change concerns existing recognition agreements. The Government's policy is that existing bargaining arrangements should not be disrupted by the procedures in this schedule and that the existence of any bargaining arrangements should rule out an application for recognition under Part I. Paragraph 30 gives effect to that.

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However, not all collective bargaining deals with pay, hours and holidays. For example, as I said earlier, I ran a company which recognised an independent union for the purpose of representing workers in disciplinary claims and the like. It was also extremely helpful in the advice that it gave to the company on, for example, forming or improving a pension fund. We wish to ensure that no existing bargaining arrangements as defined by the 1992 consolidation Act are disrupted. The new paragraph (9), which Amendment No. 2 would insert in paragraph 2, ensures the definition of collective bargaining for the purposes of paragraph 30.

Amendment No. 2 therefore applies the appropriate definitions of collective bargaining to the schedule. Amendments Nos. 60 and 61 make changes to paragraph 30 to ensure that an existing collective agreement will not be disrupted by an application for recognition under Part I. Amendment No. 60 ensures that a collective agreement by which two or more unions are jointly recognised cannot be superseded by recognition under Part I. It also makes clear that paragraph 30 extends to collective agreements within the meaning of Section 178(1) of the Act. Amendment No. 61 ensures that a collective agreement which has ceased following a change in the bargaining unit under Part III does not bar any future applications for recognition in the new unit. Both these changes are relatively minor and do not affect the policy underlying paragraph 30. I beg to move.

3.45 p.m.

Lord McCarthy: These amendments are amazing. This provision was not mentioned in any manifesto. What we are being told is that if a union has a recognition agreement but it does not cover the three subjects of statutory recognition, if a move is made to obtain statutory recognition, to quote Amendment No. 61:


    "An agreement for or declaration of recognition which is the subject of a declaration under paragraph 64(3) must for the purposes of sub-paragraph (1) be treated as ceasing to have any effect on the making of the declaration under paragraph 64(3)". In other words, the union has to choose. Is it to go forward and hope that it obtains recognition on pay, conditions and hours, and give up what it already has in the hope of obtaining something else? Or is the employer going to say, "If you are going for recognition in the big league of pay and hours and matters of that kind, I will offer you agreements handling, but of course you cannot have both"? This is a very strange and queer amendment. If the Bill's main objective was to discourage recognition, I could understand this provision. But in a Bill whose intention is to encourage recognition I do not understand why we are playing pontoon.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I am sorry to have to disagree again with my noble friend--I do not like the position in which I find myself--but he misunderstands Amendments Nos. 60 and 61. Paragraph 30 is concerned with specific cases which must be dealt with separately under Schedule 1. Amendment No. 60 is concerned with the collective agreement by which two or more unions are jointly recognised. Amendment No. 61 ensures that a

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collective agreement that has ceased following a change in the bargaining unit does not bar any future applications for recognition. These provisions simply complete the policy that is already in the Bill in these two specific cases: more than one union, and an agreement ceases as a change in the bargaining unit. It does not cause any agreement to cease. It simply recognises the different circumstances that already occur in the Bill, and in particular in paragraph 30.

Lord Campbell of Alloway: I support the amendment. I merely seek to find out exactly what it does. Is it related to the reference in paragraph (7):


    "If the parties at any time agree matters as the subject as the subject of collective bargaining"? Is the object to extend the definition of Section 178(2) to include such other matters as the parties may wish to agree?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: If the noble Lord will look at paragraph (6) the definition there says that,


    "References to collective bargaining are to negotiations relating to pay, hours and holidays". Paragraph (7) states,


    "If the parties ... agree matters as the subject of collective bargaining, references to collective bargaining are to negotiations relating to the agreed matters". The new paragraph (8) says,


    "The meaning of collective bargaining"-- that is the broader agreement--


    "in Section 178(1) shall not apply". That is because we have already covered the minimum and all the optional extras, if I may put it that way.


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