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Lord Wedderburn of Charlton: What the noble Baroness appears to be saying is that she wants a union to say something more than the Bill makes it say at the moment. However, she does not know what that is and she does not know what it is about. Have I misunderstood her? Can she give us an example of what she means?

Baroness Miller of Hendon: I am afraid I would find it absolutely impossible to get inside the head of a union. I should have thought the noble Lord, Lord Wedderburn, would know that only too well. I believe that the relevant provisions should be in writing. I seek to clarify the whole situation. As I say, I would find it totally impossible to get inside the mind of a union. I often do not know what unions want when they tell me that.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I shall try to return to the text of Amendments Nos. 77, 78 and 186. I have problems which are not quite the same as those of my noble friends. Amendments Nos. 77 and 78 are intended to affect paragraph 41 of the schedule which governs the form of applications to the CAC under the voluntary recognition part of the schedule. Paragraph 41 is the direct equivalent of paragraph 28, which prescribes the form of applications to the CAC under Part I, which is the recognition part of the schedule. At present, both paragraphs allow the CAC to prescribe the form of requests. Amendments Nos. 77 and 78 together would restrict the freedom of the CAC to choose the most helpful form of application under paragraph 41, and would break the symmetry with paragraph 28. In other words we would not have the same provisions for statutory recognition as for voluntary recognition.

Amendment No. 77 would require the application to be in writing. I would expect the CAC to require that it should be in writing. I think that is implicit in the idea of supporting documents that the application should be in writing as well. In that sense the amendment is unnecessary. However, the CAC may want a phone call

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to be part of the application process: the application is not made until a telephone call confirms its authenticity, for example. I do not see why that may be necessary but I do not wish to remove that possibility entirely. Amendment No. 77 would remove it and I believe it to be unhelpful as well as unnecessary.

Amendment No. 78 is unnecessary for the same reason as Amendment No. 77: surely the CAC will require that provision anyway. In any case, if the CAC is to judge whether an application is valid, it must be presented with evidence that there are grounds for the application. I do not understand what is meant by "grounds" and I sympathise with my noble friends who have questioned the use of that word. A failure to state the grounds would prejudice the chances of a successful application. Therefore I believe that self-interest will ensure that all applications state their grounds.

I am also unsure about the requirement to state fully the grounds on which the application is being made. An application is made because the union believes either paragraph 40(4)(a)--which occurs when there is no agreed method of collective bargaining--or 40(4)(b)--where the method of collective bargaining has been agreed but there has been a failure to carry it out--to be true. A full statement of the grounds would be, in effect, "(a)" or "(b)," as it is in the Bill. Evidence that the grounds are correct is another matter. Therefore I do not believe that the amendment would require the union to go into additional detail.

Amendment No. 186 would require an employer to give his or her reasons for seeking derecognition. I am sure that in most cases this would be sensible and reasonable but I am against having a statutory requirement to do so. Requiring an employer to give reasons for an application invites a challenge. It would be open to the union to say, "Ah, no, the real reason for this application is such and such, it is not valid" and the CAC would have to decide what the employer's actual motivation was. That would add an unacceptably subjective element to the CAC's consideration of whether an application was valid under paragraph 18.

I understand the desire of the noble Baroness to clean up the schedule. I also understand that she has some doubts about our ability in view of the number of amendments we have had to bring forward to adequately clean up the schedule. I know she is trying to help, but these amendments will not work.

Lord McCarthy: Before the Minister sits down, as I understand it we are now into Part II. I understood that there was to be some kind of statement about the validity and utility of Part II if we only waited for it. When is it coming?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I suppose I invited that. I have considered the matter since I made that statement. It is clear that there will have to be amendments to Part II. It is also clear that at this time of night, with this kind of House, it would be undesirable for me to rely on Hansard to say more specifically what we propose to do with Part II. I suggest instead that, in terms of effective

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communication, I should make a public statement about our intentions in respect of Part II in good time before Report stage. That would enable discussions to take place between my noble friends and both Benches opposite before we come to consider any amendments the Government may put down. I think it would be inappropriate for me to go beyond that at this stage.

Baroness Miller of Hendon: I am perfectly happy at this stage for the Minister not to go beyond what he has just said on Part II. However, I am disappointed that he did not accept my small Amendment No. 77. I anticipated in my speech that he would say it was not necessary; that the CAC would have it within its regulations. He then said that if the CAC did not have it within its regulations it might be satisfied with a telephone call. Either the CAC will have it in its regulations or not. It would be totally inappropriate for the procedure to start by someone making a telephone call. I think that is what the Minister said.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: On the contrary. I said that although it would have to be in writing at the outset it could be that a confirmatory telephone call would be part of the procedure to ensure that an application was properly based.

Baroness Miller of Hendon: I am sorry if I misunderstood the Minister. I think he is saying that the application would be in writing because the CAC rules would provide that it should be in writing. Let us hope that that is so. The amendment was purely to make sure that that is how it would be. That is how we believe it should be. At this stage I shall seek to withdraw the amendment. If it should turn out at some later stage that an application in writing is not in the rules, we will have a coffee together and discuss the matter.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 78 not moved.]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment Nos. 79 and 80:


Page 30, leave out lines 20 to 28 and insert--
("(2) An application which is made by a union (or unions) to the CAC is not admissible unless the union gives (or unions give) to the employer--
(a) notice of the application, and
(b) a copy of the application and any documents supporting it.
(3) An application which is made by an employer to the CAC is not admissible unless the employer gives to the union (or each of the unions)--
(a) notice of the application, and
(b) a copy of the application and any documents supporting it.")
Page 30, line 44, after ("day") insert ("after that on which")

The noble Lord said: I spoke to Amendment No. 79 with Amendment No. 18 and to Amendment No. 80 with Amendment No. 9. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 81 to 83 not moved.]

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 84 and 85:


Page 31, line 21, leave out ("28") and insert ("20 working")
Page 31, line 22, after ("acceptance") insert ("of")

The noble Lord said: I spoke to Amendment No. 84 with Amendment No. 9 and to Amendment No. 85 with Amendment No. 18. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Baroness Miller of Hendon moved Amendment No. 86:


Page 31, line 23, at end insert--
(" . This part of this Schedule shall not apply to any agreement made by an employer and a union (or unions) prior to the passing of this Act to the extent that such agreement is inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, in which case the prior agreement shall prevail and paragraph 38(a) shall be construed accordingly.")

The noble Baroness said: Amendment No. 86 is another short and self-explanatory amendment which is designed to clear up an obvious omission from the Bill. As I understand it, one of the main objects of the Bill is to encourage union representation wherever it is appropriate. The Government said in various responses to amendments in the other place that there are many satisfactory arrangements already in place between large and small employers on the one hand and unions on the other. Maybe there are. The amendment is to ensure that where there are agreements between unions and employers which were made prior to this legislation coming into force, the new Act should not apply to them; in other words, that it should not act retrospectively or interfere with them. Try as I might, I really cannot think of anything more to say on the point. It is absolutely clear what I mean. I am sure that that is a relief to your Lordships.


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