Certification Office for Trade Unions and Employers' Associations

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Files re applications for the refund of costs of secret postal ballots, 1980-96 .

Administrative / Biographical History

The applications were originally made under the Employment Act 1980, later under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, s. 115. They were made by trade unions for the refund of costs of secret postal ballots, 1980-96. The scheme was abolished 1 April 1996.

Conditions Governing Access

Access : Open.

Archivist's Note

An interim box list is available in the Centre's searchroom. The files have been arranged by the Certification Office in alphabetical order of trade union name. The purpose of the ballot is identified on the outside of the files by the following numbers: no. 1 combined industrial action/employer offer; no. 2 elections; no. 3 political fund; no. 4 employer offer; no. 5 merger, amalgamation, transfer of engagements; no. 8 rule change; no number industrial action. The files provide a unique collection of data on ballots. They give details of the purpose of the ballot, how it was conducted, scrutineers' reports on membership voting, outcome and costs. The ballots covered the calling or ending of a strike or other industrial action; carrying out an election of executive or other officers, amending the rules, obtaining a decision on amalgamation or merger, obtaining a decision on a political fund, obtaining a decision on an employer's proposal for remuneration etc.

Appraisal Information

The Certification Office originally destroyed all papers after six years (when they ceased to relevant for audit purposes). Papers from 1989/90 have been kept, but weeded by the Certification Office. The first eighteen boxes released under this process were deposited in May 1998.

Custodial History

The applications were deposited by the Certification Officer beginning in May 1998 with a further deposit in May 1999.


Annual additions will be made until all the files have either been deposited or destroyed (approx. 2003).