Thompsons Solicitors has supported the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) in obtaining a £3m settlement after the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) abruptly withdrew union payments in 2015.

This type of payment, known as ‘check-off’, is a system that allows a union to receive the membership fee from an employee directly from their wages via the employer, instead of the member setting up their personal standing order or direct debit.

"The DWP are not the only government department who have attempted to undermine the trade union membership in their workforce. As always, we will stand with the trade union movement at every turn to protect their rights and the rights of every trade union member.”

Ann Rooney, Solicitor

PCS members who worked for the Department of Work and Pensions had their right to pay their union subscriptions by check-off unlawfully withdrawn and were told to opt-in voluntarily themselves. While PCS was successful in signing up the majority of its members through a direct debit payment, the move still dramatically reduced the union’s income overnight.

Thompsons Solicitors supported PCS through its claim and secured £3m in damages.

Ann Rooney, solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “This move by the DWP was a deliberate attack on PCS and the trade union movement as a whole.

“This is just one example of the anti trade union agenda being pursued by this Government, which has the intention of weakening trade unions by restricting their right to strike, by imposing financial constraints on their ability to campaign politically, and reducing time off arrangements for union reps undertaking union duties. The DWP are not the only government department who have attempted to undermine the trade union membership in their workforce. As always, we will stand with the trade union movement at every turn to protect their rights and the rights of every trade union member.”