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Employment Relations Act 1999

CAC, ACAS, Commissioners and Certification Officer

Section 28: Abolition of Commissioners

241.Subsection (1) abolishes two public offices: the Commissioner for the Rights of Trade Union Members (CRTUM) and the Commissioner for Protection Against Unlawful Industrial Action (CPAUIA). The CRTUM was established under the Employment Act 1988 and his main function is to provide material assistance to any trade union member who is taking, or contemplating taking, certain legal proceedings against his union or against an official of his union. The CPAUIA was established under the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993 and his main function is to provide material assistance to any individual who is taking, or contemplating taking, legal proceedings against a trade union whose unlawful organisation of industrial action deprives or is likely to deprive the individual of goods and services. For both bodies, assistance usually takes the form of paying for legal advice or meeting legal costs. Both Commissioners are independent of Government and cannot be directed by Ministers to assist, or not to assist, any particular application. The legal provisions establishing both offices have been incorporated into the 1992 Act.

242.Both Commissioners are part-time appointments currently held by the same individual. Since his inception, the CRTUM has assisted, on average, ten applications a year and the CPAUIA has assisted one application to date.

243.Subsection (2) repeals the sections of the 1992 Act which set out the duties of the CRTUM and the CPAUIA and which set out administrative provisions by which they operate. Subsection (3) removes the reference to the CRTUM from the standard form of words which is required to be included in the financial position statement which trade unions are required to provide to their members each year under section 32A of the 1992 Act.

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