Employment law re Union membership.

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matt_london | 21:06 Wed 04th Nov 2009 | Law
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My boss has emailed me today to ask if I am a member of the union. This is completely out of the blue and slightly worrying.
Does anyone know if I am obliged to answer the question?


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No you aren't.
Maybe ask - could I inquire why you need to know? as a means of seeking to avoid having to decline to answer the question.
What sort of business are you in? Sometimes if your firm is quoting for a public contract the body can ask questions like that as part of the pre contract searches. If so, I would have expeted your boss to tell you why he wanted to know.

The other reason is that a union may have asked to represent the staff claining to have me mbers and the boss is just checking to see if it is true. Again, he may be being a bit wary, not giving you the reason as he doesn't want to put the idea in your head!!
So would I, Androcles.
BTW, I'm not sure your point about pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQ) is right. A PQQ question might be asked about whether the employer has established collective bargaining rights with a Union. But since it is isn't within law for all employees to have to be a Union member, I can't see how the question could extend down to individual employees.
It's not an American Company is it?

I've noticed ours is making some sort of statement as to the percentage of it's staff that are Union members in it's annual report.

Possibly some sort of risk management exercise - I presume it's not just you and everybody is being asked
You are quite right Buildersmate about the way the questionnaire is worded, but I have come across one small employer who interpreted it this way - first time they had ever tried for a local authority contract!

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