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Employment Relations Act 2004

Removal of rule preventing appointment of body corporate as auditor

358.Section 53 amends sections 34, 36 and 37 of the 1992 Act. These sections concern the appointment and rights of trade union auditors. By virtue of section 131(1) of the 1992 Act the amendments also apply to the appointment and rights of auditors of unincorporated employers’ associations.

359.Subsection (1) amends section 34. Section 34 provides the eligibility criteria for the appointment of an auditor of a trade union. As the section stood before amendment, subsection (5)(c) had the effect that a “body corporate” (e.g. a limited company) was not permitted to act as a trade union auditor. Subsection (1) of the section repeals subsection (5)(c) of section 34, with the result that a body corporate is permitted to act as a trade union auditor.

360.Subsection (2) and (3) insert new subsections (1A) and (5) into section 36 which relates to the duty of the auditor of a trade union to make a report to the union on the audited accounts. Taken together the new subsections have the effect that where the auditor is a body corporate or partnership the report is to be signed in its name by an individual authorised to sign on its behalf.

361.Subsection (4) inserts a new subsection (4) into section 37 (rights of auditors). Under section 37(3) trade union auditors have a right to attend and be heard at general meetings of the union. New subsection (4) has the effect that where the auditor is a body corporate or partnership these rights are exercisable by an individual authorised by it to act as its representative at the meeting.

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