Anti-union law means we must be DD ready

The new Trade Union Act means it’s more important than ever to make sure all members are ready to pay their union subs by direct debit.

Members must be made aware that the 2016 law, which came into force in March, means check-off could now be removed from other departments and employers.

Our previous battles with the removal of check-off from some departments were hugely successful. We rallied to switch the vast majority over to paying by direct debit and launched successful challenges through the courts. But we still lost members and vital finances as a direct result of check-off withdrawal. We must therefore do everything we can to secure our future by ensuring we’re not reliant on the employer to collect our members’ subscriptions.

Thousands of PCS members still pay their subs via check-off. But PCS needs all members to be ‘DD ready’ in case the government uses this anti-trade union legislation to remove the facility from more workplaces.

Their legal ability to ban check-off becomes active on 10 March, 2018. In the lead-up to this date employers and unions have a transitional period to come to an agreement. If we can’t reach an agreement we need to be able to move fast to switch members to direct debit.

The TU Act has also changed key rules on balloting for industrial action, which – by increasing the turnout threshold to 50% – is designed to make it far more difficult for unions like ours to organise disputes in places like EHRC, which has members out on rolling strike action this month.

For the same anti-union reasons, the act imposes new obligations on picketing, industrial action notification periods, facilities time reporting and more.

More information:

  • Go to for details on how to register for direct debit payments. We only switch to DD if the employer decides to end check-off, or when all members in a workplace have signed up to be ‘DD ready’.
  • Contact the national organising department directly for advice about campaigning and organising around the DD Ready campaign –
  • Detailed guidance on the Trade Union Act and its implications for members and branches will be issued shortly.
  • Contact your regional office or your industrial officer if you have any queries about the implications of the act.

Updated 10 October 2017

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