Time off for trade union duties and activities

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1 January 2010 Code of Practice 3 Time off for trade union duties activities including guidance on time off for union learning representatives

2 Publishedby TSO(TheStationeryOffice) availablefrom: Online Mail, Telephone,Fax& TSO POBox29, Norwich,NR31GN Telephoneorders/Generalenquiries: Faxorders: Textphone: other AccreditedAgents Customerscan also order publications from: TSOIrel 16Arthur Street, Belfast BT14GD Tel Fax Published for ACAS under licence from the Controller of Her Majesty s Stationery Office. Crown Copyright 2004 All rights reserved. Copyright in the typographical arrangement design is vested in the Crown. Applications for reproduction should be made in writing to the Copyright Unit, H er Majesty s Stationery Office, St Clements House, 2-16 Colegate, Norwich NR3 1BQ. First published 2004 Second edition 2009 ISBN Printed in the United Kingdom by The Stationery Office. Id c00 3/ Further copies may also be obtained from Acas Publications, Swallow Field Way, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 1DQ. Tel:

3 This code revises the Acas Code of Practice on Time Off for Trade Union Duties Activities which came into effect on 27 April This revised code is issued under Section 199 of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 comes into force by order of the Secretary of State on 1 January

4 Contents Introduction Terminology The background General purpose of the Code Structure of the Code Status of the Code Page Section 1 : Time off for Trade Union Duties Entitlement Examples of trade union duties Union Learning Representatives Payment for time off for trade union duties Time off to accompany workers at disciplinary or grievance hearings Section 2 : Training of Union representatives in aspects of employment relations employee development Entitlement What is relevant employment relations training? Training for Union Learning Representatives Payment for time off for training Section 3 : Time off for Trade Union Activities Entitlement What are examples of trade union activities? Payment for time off for trade union activities Section 4 : The responsibilities of employers trade unions General considerations Requesting time off Section 5 : Agreements on time off 25 Section 6 : Industrial action 27 Section 7 : Resolving disputes 27 Annex: The law on time off for trade union duties activities 28 2 CodE of PRaCTiCE 3 TiME off for TRadE UNioN duties and activities

5 Introduction 1. Under section 199 of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 the Advisory, Conciliation Arbitration Service (Acas) has a duty to provide practical guidance on the time off to be permitted by an employer: (a) to a trade union official in accordance with section 168 of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992; (b) to a trade union member in accordance with section 170 of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act Section 199 of the Act, as amended by the Employment Act 2002, also provides for Acas to issue practical guidance on time off training for Union Learning Representatives. This Code, which replaces the Code of Practice issued by Acas in 2003, is intended to provide such guidance. Advice on the role responsibilities of employee representatives is provided in two Acas Guides: Trade union representation in the workplace: a guide to managing time off, training facilities Non-union representation in the workplace: a guide to managing time off, training facilities. Terminology 2. In this Code the term Trade union official, is replaced by union representative. In practice there is often confusion between an official an officer of a union the term representative is commonly used in practice. Section 119 of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 defines an official as (a) an officer of the union or of a branch or section of the union, or (b) a person elected or appointed in accordance with the rules of the union to be a representative of its members or of some of them, includes a person so elected or appointed who is an employee of the same employer as the members or one or more of the members whom he is to represent. Section 181 (1) of the same Act defines a representative, for the purposes of sections of the Act, as an official or other person authorised by the union to carry on such collective bargaining. introduction 3

6 Introduction In this Code a union representative means an employee who has been elected or appointed in accordance with the rules of the independent union to be a representative of all or some of the union s members in the particular company or workplace, or agreed group of workplaces 1. Under section 199 of the Trade Union Labour Relations where the union is recognised for collective bargaining purposes. This (Consolidation) Act 1992 Acas has a duty to provide practical is intended to equate with the legal term trade union official for the guidance on the time off to be permitted by an employer: purposes of this Code. (a) The to term a trade union union full-time official officer in accordance in this Code with means section a trade 168 of union the official Trade who Union is employed Labour by an Relations independent (Consolidation) trade union Act to represent 1992; members in workplaces, or groups of workplaces, where the union is (b) recognised to a trade for union collective member bargaining accordance purposes. with section 170 of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act A Union Learning Representative is an employee who is a member of Section an independent 199 of the trade Act, union as amended recognised by the by the Employment employer who Act 2002, has been also elected provides or appointed for Acas in to accordance issue practical with the guidance rules of on the time union off to be a training learning for representative Union Learning of the Representatives. union the workplace. The This background Code, which replaces the Code of Practice issued by Acas in , Union is representatives intended to provide have had such a statutory guidance. right to reasonable paid time off from employment to carry out trade union duties to The undertake background trade union training since the Employment Protection Act 2. Since the Union Employment representatives Protection members Act 1975, were trade also union given officials a statutory have had right a to statutory reasonable right unpaid to reasonable time off when paid time taking off part from in employment trade union to carry activities. out trade Union union duties duties must relate to to undertake matters covered trade union by collective training. Union bargaining officials agreements members between were employers also given a statutory trade unions right to reasonable relate to the unpaid union representative s time off when taking own employer, part in trade unless union agreed activities. In otherwise 1989 restrictions in circumstances were introduced of multi-employer on the range bargaining, of issues for not, which for paid example, time off to for any trade associated union employer. duties could All the be claimed time off provisions to those covered were by brought recognition together agreements in sections between employers of the Trade Union trade unions. Labour Additionally Relations (Consolidation) union duties must Act relate Section to the official s 43 the own Employment employer Act 2002 not, added for example, a new right to any for Union associated Learning employer. Representatives All the time to take off provisions paid time off were during brought working together hours in to sections undertake 168 their duties of the Trade to Union undertake Labour relevant Relations training. The (Consolidation) rights to time Act off for the Section purpose 43 of of the carrying Employment out trade Act union 2002 duties, added a new to take right time for off Union for training, Learning were Representatives extended to union to take representatives paid time off engaged during in working duties related hours to to undertake redundancies their under duties Section to 188 undertake of the amended relevant training Act to duties relating to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations CodE CODE of OF PRaCTiCE PRACTICE 3 TiME TIME off OFF for FOR TRadE TRADE UNioN UNION duties DUTIES and AND activities ACTIVITIES

7 General purpose of the Code 4. The general purpose of the statutory provisions this Code of Practice is to aid improve the effectiveness of relationships between employers trade unions. Employers unions have a joint responsibility to ensure that agreed arrangements work to mutual advantage by specifying how reasonable time off for union duties activities for training will work. Structure of the Code 5. Section 1 of this Code provides guidance on time off for trade union duties. Section 2 deals with time off for training of trade union representatives offers guidance on sufficient training for Union Learning Representatives. Section 3 considers time off for trade union activities. In each case the amount frequency of time off, the purposes for which any conditions subject to which time off may be taken, are to be those that are reasonable in all the circumstances. Section 4 describes the responsibilities which employers trade unions share in considering reasonable time off. Section 5 notes the advantages of reaching formal agreements on time off. Section 6 deals with industrial action Section 7 with methods of appeal. 6. The annex to this Code reproduces the relevant statutory provisions on time off. To help differentiate between these practical guidance, the summary of statutory provisions relating to time off which appears in the main text of the Code is in bold type. Practical guidance is in ordinary type. While every effort has been made to ensure that the summary of the statutory provisions included in this Code is accurate, only the courts can interpret the law authoritatively. Status of the Code 7. The provisions of this Code are admissible in evidence in proceedings before an Employment Tribunal relating to time off for trade union duties activities. Any provisions of the Code which appear to the Tribunal to be relevant shall be taken into account. However, failure to observe any provision of the Code does not of itself render a person liable to any proceedings. introduction 5

8 Section 1 Introduction Time off For Trade Union Duties 1. Under section 199 of the Trade Union Labour Relations Union (Consolidation) representatives Act undertake 1992 Acas a variety has a of duty roles to in provide collective practical bargaining guidance in working on with the management, time off to be communicating permitted by an with employer: union members, liaising with their trade union in hling individual disciplinary grievance (a) to a matters trade union on behalf official of employees. in accordance There with are section positive 168 benefits of the for employers, Trade employees Union Labour for union Relations members (Consolidation) in encouraging Act the 1992; efficient performance of union representatives work, for example in aiding the resolution (b) to a of trade problems union member conflicts in at accordance work. The role with can section be both 170 of the deming Trade Union complex. Labour In order Relations to perform (Consolidation) effectively union Act representatives need to have reasonable paid time off from their normal job in appropriate Section 199 circumstances. of the Act, as amended by the Employment Act 2002, Entitlement also provides for Acas to issue practical guidance on time off training for Union Learning Representatives. 8. Employees who are union representatives of an independent This trade Code, union which recognised replaces by the their Code employer of Practice are issued to be by permitted Acas in 1998, reasonable is intended time to off provide during such working guidance. hours to carry out certain trade union duties. 9. The Union background representatives are entitled to time off where the duties 2. Since are concerned the Employment with: Protection Act 1975, trade union officials have had a statutory right to reasonable paid time off from employment to negotiations with the employer about matters which fall carry out trade union duties to undertake trade union training. within section 178(2) of the Trade Union Labour Relations Union officials members were also given a statutory right to (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULR(C)A) for which the union reasonable unpaid time off when taking part in trade union activities. is recognised for the purposes of collective bargaining by the In 1989 restrictions were introduced on the range of issues for which employer; paid time off for trade union duties could be claimed to those covered by any recognition other functions agreements on between behalf of employers employees of trade the employer unions. Additionally which are union related duties to matters must relate falling to the within official s section own 178(2) employer TULR(C)A not, for example, which to any the associated employer has employer. agreed All the the union time off may provisions perform; were brought together in sections of the Trade Union the receipt Labour of information Relations (Consolidation) from the employer Act Section consultation 43 of the by Employment the employer Act under 2002 added section a new 188 right TULR(C)A, for Union related Learning to Representatives redundancy or to under take paid the time Transfer off during of Undertakings working hours (Protection to undertake of Employment) their duties Regulations to undertake 2006 that relevant applies training. to employees of the employer; negotiations with a view to entering into an agreement under regulation 9 of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 that applies to employees of the employer; or 62 CodE CODE of OF PRaCTiCE PRACTICE 3 TiME TIME off OFF for FOR TRadE TRADE UNioN UNION duties DUTIES and AND activities ACTIVITIES

9 the performance on behalf of employees of the employer of functions related to or connected with the making of an agreement under regulation 9 of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection or Employment) Regulations Matters falling within section 178(2) TULR(C)A are listed in the sub headings of paragraph 13 below. 10. The Safety Representatives Safety Committees Regulations 1977 regulation 4(2)(a) requires that employers allow union health safety representatives paid time, as is necessary, during working hours,to perform their functions. Further advice on time off provisions for health safety representatives is provided by the Health Safety Executive in their approved Code Guidance Consulting workers on health safety. This is not covered in this Acas Code. 11. An independent trade union is recognised by an employer when it is recognised to any extent for the purposes of collective bargaining. Where a trade union is not so recognised by an employer, employees have no statutory right to time off to undertake any duties except that of accompanying a worker at a disciplinary or grievance hearing (see para 20). Examples of trade union duties 12. Subject to the recognition or other agreement, trade union representatives should be allowed to take reasonable time off for duties concerned with negotiations or, where their employer has agreed, for duties concerned with other functions related to or connected with the subjects of collective bargaining. 13. The subjects connected with collective bargaining may include one or more of the following: (a) terms conditions of employment, or the physical conditions in which workers are required to work. Examples could include: pay hours of work holidays holiday pay sick pay arrangements SECTioN 1 TiME off for TRadE UNioN duties 7

10 Introduction pensions learning training equality diversity 1. Under section notice periods 199 of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) the working Act environment 1992 Acas has a duty to provide practical guidance operation on the time of digital off to equipment be permitted by other an machinery; employer: (a) (b) to engagement a trade union or official non in engagement, accordance or with termination section 168 or of the Trade suspension Union of Labour employment Relations or the (Consolidation) duties of employment, Act 1992; of one or more workers. Examples could include: (b) to a recruitment trade union member selection in accordance policies with section 170 of the Trade human Union resource Labour planning Relations (Consolidation) Act redundancy dismissal arrangements; Section 199 of the Act, as amended by the Employment Act 2002, also (c) provides allocation for of Acas work to or issue the practical duties of guidance employment on time as off between training workers for Union or groups Learning of Representatives. workers. Examples could include: job grading This Code, job evaluation which replaces the Code of Practice issued by Acas in 1998, is job intended descriptions to provide such guidance. flexible working practices The background work-life balance; 2. Since (d) matters the Employment of discipline. Protection Examples Act 1975, could trade include: union officials have had a statutory disciplinary right procedures to reasonable paid time off from employment to carry out trade union duties to undertake trade union training. arrangements for representing or accompanying employees at Union officials members were also given a statutory right to internal interviews reasonable unpaid time off when taking part in trade union activities. arrangements for appearing on behalf of trade union members, In 1989 restrictions were introduced on the range of issues for which or as witnesses, before agreed outside appeal bodies or paid time off for trade union duties could be claimed to those covered employment tribunals; by recognition agreements between employers trade unions. Additionally (e) trade union membership duties must relate or non to the membership. official s own Examples employer could not, include: for example, to any associated employer. All the time off provisions representational were brought arrangements together in sections of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act Section 43 of any union involvement in the induction of new workers; the Employment Act 2002 added a new right for Union Learning Representatives (f) facilities for to trade take paid union time representatives. off during working Examples hours to could undertake include their any duties agreed arrangements to undertake for relevant the provision training. of: accommodation equipment names of new workers to the union; 82 CodE CODE of OF PRaCTiCE PRACTICE 3 TiME TIME off OFF for FOR TRadE TRADE UNioN UNION duties DUTIES and AND activities ACTIVITIES

11 (g) machinery for negotiation or consultation other procedures. Examples could include arrangements for: collective bargaining at the employer /or multi-employer level grievance procedures joint consultation communicating with members communicating with other union representatives union full-time officers concerned with collective bargaining with the employer The duties of a representative of a recognised trade union must be connected with or related to negotiations or the performance of functions both in time subject matter. Reasonable time off may be sought, for example, to: prepare for negotiations, including attending relevant meetings inform members of progress outcomes prepare for meetings with the employer about matters for which the trade union has only representational rights. 15. Trade union duties will also be related to the receipt of information consultation related to the hling of collective redundancies where an employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days, where the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees) Regulations apply but also including the negotiations with a view to entering an agreement under regulation 9 of the Regulations (variation of contract in insolvency). Union Learning Representatives 16. Employees who are members of an independent trade union recognised by the employer can take reasonable time off to undertake the duties of a Union Learning Representative, provided that the union has given the employer notice in writing that the employee is a learning representative of the trade union the training condition is met (see paras for further information on the training condition) The functions for which time off as a Union Learning Representative is allowed are: analysing learning or training needs SECTioN 1 TiME off for TRadE UNioN duties 9

12 Introduction providing information advice about learning or training matters arranging learning or training 1. Under promoting section the 199 value of the of Trade learning Union or training Labour Relations (Consolidation) consulting the Act employer 1992 Acas about has a carrying duty to provide on any practical such activities guidance preparation the to time carry off out to be any permitted of the above by an employer: activities undergoing relevant training. (a) to a trade union official in accordance with section 168 of the In Trade practice, Union the roles Labour responsibilities Relations (Consolidation) of Union Learning Act 1992; Representatives will often vary by union by workplace but must (b) include to a trade one or union more member of these in functions. accordance In some with cases section it may 170 be of the helpful if Union Trade Learning Union Representatives Labour Relations attend (Consolidation) meetings concerned Act with agreeing promoting learning agreements. Employers may also see Section it in their 199 interests of the to Act, grant as amended paid time off by for the these Employment representatives Act 2002, to also attend provides meetings for Acas with external to issue partners practical concerned guidance with on time the off training development for Union Learning provision Representatives. of workforce training. Recognition needs to be given to the varying roles of Union Learning This Code, which replaces the Code of Practice issued by Acas in Representatives where the post holder also undertakes additional 1998, is intended to provide such guidance. duties as a union representative. 17. The Many background employers have in place well established training 2. Since development the Employment programmes Protection for their Act employees. 1975, trade Union union Learning officials have had Representatives a statutory right should to reasonable liaise with their paid employers time off from to ensure employment that their to carry respective out trade training union activities duties complement to undertake one another trade union that training. the Union scope officials for duplication members is minimised. were also given a statutory right to reasonable unpaid time off when taking part in trade union activities. Payment In 1989 for restrictions time off were for introduced trade union the duties range of issues for which 18. paid An employer time off for who trade permits union duties union could representatives be claimed time to those off for covered by trade recognition union duties agreements must pay between them employers for the time off trade taken. unions. The Additionally employer must union pay duties either must the relate amount to the that official s the union own employer representative not, for example, would to have any associated earned had employer. they worked All the during time off the provisions time off taken were brought or, where together earnings sections vary with 168 the work of done, the Trade an Union amount calculated Labour Relations by reference (Consolidation) to the average Act hourly Section earnings 43 of the for Employment the work they Act are 2002 employed added a to new do. right for Union Learning Representatives to take paid time off during working hours to undertake their duties to undertake relevant training CodE CODE of OF PRaCTiCE PRACTICE 3 TiME TIME off OFF for FOR TRadE TRADE UNioN UNION duties DUTIES and AND activities ACTIVITIES

13 The calculation of pay for the time taken for trade union duties should be undertaken with due regard to the type of payment system applying to the union representative including, as appropriate, shift premia, performance related pay, bonuses commission earnings. Where pay is linked to the achievement of performance targets it may be necessary to adjust such targets to take account of the reduced time the representative has to achieve the desired performance There is no statutory requirement to pay for time off where the duty is carried out at a time when the union representative would not otherwise have been at work unless the union representative works flexible hours, such as night shift, but needs to perform representative duties during normal hours. Staff who work part time will be entitled to be paid if staff who work full time would be entitled to be paid. In all cases the amount of time off must be reasonable. Time off to accompany Workers at disciplinary or Grievance Hearings 20. Trade union representatives are statutorily entitled to take a reasonable amount of paid time off to accompany a worker at a disciplinary or grievance hearing so long as they have been certified by their union as being capable of acting as a worker s companion. The right to time off in these situations applies regardless of whether the certified person belongs to a recognised union or not although the worker being accompanied must be employed by the same employer. Time off for a union representative or a certified person to accompany a worker of another employer is a matter for voluntary agreement between the parties concerned. SECTioN 1 TiME off for TRadE UNioN duties 11

14 Section 2 Introduction Training of union representatives 1. Under section 199 the Trade Union Labour Relations in aspects of employment relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 Acas has a duty to provide practical guidance on the time off to be permitted by an employer: employee development (a) to a trade union official in accordance with section 168 of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992; Training is important for union representatives to enable them to carry out their duties effectively. Training should be available both to newly appointed (b) to a trade union member in accordance with section 170 of the to more established union representatives. It is desirable, from time to Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act time where resources permit it, for joint training development activities between union representatives managers to occur. Section 199 of the Act, as amended by the Employment Act 2002, also provides for Acas to issue practical guidance on time off Entitlement training for Union Learning Representatives. 21. Employees who are union representatives of an independent This trade Code, union which recognised replaces by the their Code employer of Practice are issued to be by permitted Acas in 1998, reasonable is intended time to off provide during such working guidance. hours to undergo training in aspects of industrial relations relevant to the carrying out of The their background trade union duties. These duties must be concerned with: negotiations with the employer about matters which fall 2. Since the Employment Protection Act 1975, trade union officials have within section 178(2) TULR(C)A for which the union is had a statutory right to reasonable paid time off from employment to recognised to any extent for the purposes of collective carry out trade union duties to undertake trade union training. bargaining by the employer; or Union officials members were also given a statutory right to reasonable any other unpaid functions time off on when behalf taking of employees part in trade of the union employer activities. In 1989 which restrictions are related were to matters introduced falling on the within range section of issues 178(2) for which paid TULR(C)A time off for trade which union the duties employer could has be claimed agreed the to those union covered may by perform; recognition agreements between employers trade unions. Additionally matters associated union duties with must information relate to the official s consultation own employer concerning not, for example, collective to any redundancy associated employer. the Transfer All the time of off provisions Undertakings, were brought the together negotiation in sections of an 168 agreement of the under Trade Union Regulation Labour 9 of Relations the Transfer (Consolidation) of Undertakings Act (Protection Section 43 of of the Employees) Employment Regulations. Act 2002 added a new right for Union Learning Representatives to take paid time off during working hours to Matters falling within section 178(2) TULR(C)A are set out in paragraph undertake their duties to undertake relevant training. 13 above CodE CODE of OF PRaCTiCE PRACTICE 3 TiME TIME off OFF for FOR TRadE TRADE UNioN UNION duties DUTIES and AND activities ACTIVITIES

15 22. The Safety Representatives Safety Committees Regulations 1977 regulation 4(2)(b) requires that employers allow union health safety representatives to undergo training in aspects of their functions that is reasonable in all the circumstances. 2 Further advice on the training of health safety representatives is provided by the Health Safety Executive in their approved Code Guidance Consulting workers on health safety. This is not covered in this Acas Code. 23. Employees who are Trade Union Learning Representatives are also permitted reasonable time off during working hours to undergo training relevant to their functions as a Union Learning Representative. What is relevant employment relations training? 24. Training should be in aspects of employment relations relevant to the duties of a union representative. There is no one recommended syllabus for training as a union representative s duties will vary according to: the collective bargaining arrangements at the place of work, particularly the scope of the recognition or other agreement the structure of the union the role of the union representative the hling of proposed collective redundancies or the transfer of undertakings. 25. The training must also be approved by the Trades Union Congress or by the independent trade union of which the employee is a union representative. 26. Union representatives are more likely to carry out their duties effectively if they possess skills knowledge relevant to their duties. In particular, employers should be prepared to consider releasing union representatives for initial training in basic representational skills as soon as possible after their election or appointment, bearing in mind that suitable courses may be infrequent. Reasonable time off could also be considered, for example: SECTioN 2 TRaiNiNG of UNioN REPRESENTaTiVES 13

16 Introduction for training courses to develop the union representative s skills in representation, accompaniment, negotiation consultation for further training particularly where the union representative has special responsibilities, for example in collective redundancy 1. Under section 199 of the Trade Union Labour Relations transfer of undertakings circumstances (Consolidation) Act 1992 Acas has a duty to provide practical guidance for training on the courses time off to familiarise to be permitted or update by an union employer: representatives on issues reflecting the developing needs of the workforce they (a) represent to a trade union official in accordance with section 168 of the for Trade training Union where there Labour are Relations proposals (Consolidation) to change the structure Act 1992; topics of negotiation about matters for which the union is (b) recognised; to a trade union or where member significant in accordance changes in with the section organisation 170 of of the work are Trade being Union contemplated Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act for training where legal change may affect the conduct of Section employment 199 of the relations Act, as at amended the place of by work the Employment may require Act the 2002, also reconsideration provides for Acas of existing to issue agreements practical guidance on time off training for training for Union where Learning a union Representatives. representative undertakes the role of accompanying employees in grievance disciplinary hearings. This Code, which replaces the Code of Practice issued by Acas in , E-learning is intended tools, related to provide to the such role guidance. of union representatives, should be used where available appropriate. However, their best use is as an The additional background learning aid rather than as a replacement to attendance at approved trade union Trades Union Congress training courses. 2. Since Time the needs Employment to be given Protection during normal Act 1975, working trade hours union for union officials have had representatives a statutory right to take to reasonable advantage of paid e-learning time off where from employment it is available. to carry out trade union duties to undertake trade union training. Union officials members were also given a statutory right to Training for Union Learning Representatives reasonable unpaid time off when taking part in trade union activities. 28. In Employees 1989 restrictions who are were members introduced of an on independent the range of issues trade for union which paid recognised time off for by trade the employer union duties are could entitled be to claimed reasonable to those paid covered time by off recognition to undertake agreements the functions between of a employers Union Learning trade unions. Additionally Representative. union duties To qualify must for relate paid to time the official s the member own employer must be sufficiently not, for example, trained to to carry any associated out duties employer. as a learning All the time off provisions representative: were brought together in sections of the Trade Union either at Labour the time Relations when their (Consolidation) trade union Act gives notice Section to 43 their of the employer Employment in writing Act 2002 that added they a are new a learning right for Union representative Learning of Representatives the trade union to take paid time off during working hours to undertake or within their six duties months of to that undertake date. relevant training CodE CODE of OF PRaCTiCE PRACTICE 3 TiME TIME off OFF for FOR TRadE TRADE UNioN UNION duties DUTIES and AND activities ACTIVITIES

17 29. In the latter case, the trade union is required to give the employer notice in writing that the employee will be undergoing such training when the employee has done so to give the employer notice of that fact. During the six month period in which he or she is undergoing this training, the Union Learning Representative must be allowed time off to perform their duties. It should be confirmed by the union in a letter that the training undertaken is sufficient to allow the Learning Representative to undertake their role it is good practice for the union to give details of the training which has been completed any previous training that has been taken into account. In the interests of good practice, the six month qualifying period may be extended, with agreement, to take into account any significant unforeseen circumstances such as prolonged absence from work due to ill health, pregnancy, bereavement or unavoidable delays in arranging an appropriate training course To satisfy this training requirement an employee will need to be able to demonstrate to their trade union that they have received sufficient training to enable them to operate competently in one or more of the following areas of activity relevant to their duties as a Union Learning Representative: analysing learning or training needs; this could for example include understing the different methods for identifying learning interests or needs, being able to effectively identify record individual learning needs or being able to draw up a plan to meet identified learning requirements. providing information advice about learning or training matters; including, for example, the development of communication interviewing skills knowledge of available opportunities, in order to be able to provide accurate information to members about learning opportunities within outside the workplace the ability to signpost members to other sources of advice guidance where additional support is needed, for example, basic skills tutors or fuller in depth professional career guidance. SECTioN 2 TRaiNiNG of UNioN REPRESENTaTiVES 15

18 Introduction arranging supporting learning training; for example, obtaining providing information on learning opportunities including e-learning where available, supporting encouraging members to access learning opportunities helping 1. Under section 199 of the Trade Union Labour Relations to develop improve local learning opportunities; (Consolidation) Act 1992 Acas has a duty to provide practical promoting guidance the on value the of time learning off to be permitted training; by an employer: some examples of this activity could be, understing current (a) initiatives to a trade for union the development official in accordance of learning with section skills in 168 the of the workplace, Trade Union promoting Labour the value Relations of learning (Consolidation) to members Act 1992; within trade union networks structures, working with employers to (b) meet to a trade the learning union member skill needs in accordance of both individuals with section 170 the of the organisation, Trade Union appreciating Labour Relations the value (Consolidation) of learning agreements Act how they may be developed. Section 199 of the Act, as amended by the Employment Act 2002, 31. also An employee provides for could Acas demonstrate to issue practical to their trade guidance union on that time they off have training received for sufficient Union Learning training to Representatives. enable them to operate competently in one or more of these areas of activity by: This completing Code, which a training replaces course the approved Code of Practice by the Trades issued Union by Acas in 1998, Congress is intended or by to the provide independent such guidance. trade union of which the employee is a Union Learning Representative, or by The background showing that they have previously gained the relevant expertise 2. Since experience the Employment to operate Protection effectively Act as a 1975, learning trade representative. union officials have had a statutory right to reasonable paid time off from employment to carry In the out latter trade case, union previous duties experience to undertake expertise trade union gained training. areas Union such as officials teaching, training, members counselling, were also providing given a statutory careers advice right to reasonable guidance or unpaid human time resource off when development, taking part may in trade well be union relevant, activities. as In may 1989 periods restrictions of extensive were introduced on-the-job training on the range experience of issues for gained which in paid shadowing time off an for experienced trade union Union duties Learning could be Representative. claimed to those covered by recognition agreements between employers trade unions. 32. Reasonable time off should also be considered for further training to Additionally union duties must relate to the official s own employer help Union Learning Representatives develop their skills not, for example, to any associated employer. All the time off competencies. provisions were brought together in sections of the Trade 33. Union Although not Labour required Relations by law (Consolidation) it is recognised Act that there would Section be 43 clear of the advantages Employment both Act to the 2002 individual added a new the right organisation for Union if Learning training Representatives undertaken leads to to take a recognised paid time qualification off during working stard. hours to undertake their duties to undertake relevant training CodE CODE of OF PRaCTiCE PRACTICE 3 TiME TIME off OFF for FOR TRadE TRADE UNioN UNION duties DUTIES and AND activities ACTIVITIES

19 Payment for time off for training 34. An employer who permits union representatives or Union Learning Representatives time off to attend relevant training, must pay them for the time off taken. The employer must pay either the amount that the union representative or the Union Learning Representative would have earned had they worked during the time off taken or, where earnings vary with the work done, an amount calculated by reference to the average hourly earnings for the work they are employed to do. 2 The calculation of pay for the time taken for training should be undertaken with due regard to the type of payment system applying to the union representative Union Learning Representative including, as appropriate, shift premia, performance related pay, bonuses commission earnings. Where pay is linked to the achievement of performance targets it may be necessary to adjust such targets to take account of the reduced time the representative has to achieve the desired performance. 35. There is no statutory requirement to pay for time off where training is undertaken at a time when the union representative or Union Learning Representative would not otherwise have been at work unless the union representative or Union Learning Representative works flexible hours, such as night shift, but needs to undertake training during normal hours. Staff who work part time will be entitled to be paid if staff who work full time would be entitled to be paid. In all cases, the amount of time off must be reasonable. SECTioN 2 TRaiNiNG of UNioN REPRESENTaTiVES 17

20 Section 3 Introduction Time off for trade union activities 1. Under section 199 of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 Acas has a duty to provide practical guidance on the time off to be permitted by an employer: To operate effectively democratically, trade unions need the active participation (a) to a trade of members. union official It can in also accordance be very much with in section employers 168 of interests the that such Trade participation Union is assured Labour Relations help is (Consolidation) given to promote Act effective 1992; communication between union representatives members in the workplace. (b) to a trade union member in accordance with section 170 of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act Entitlement Section 199 of the Act, as amended by the Employment Act 2002, 36. An employee who is a member of an independent trade union also provides for Acas to issue practical guidance on time off recognised by the employer in respect of that description of training for Union Learning Representatives. employee is to be permitted reasonable time off during working hours to take part in any trade union activity. An employee who This Code, which replaces the Code of Practice issued by Acas in is a member of an independent recognised trade union is 1998, is intended to provide such guidance. also permitted to take reasonable time off during working hours for the purposes of accessing the services of a Union Learning The Representative background (provided those services are services for which 2. Since the Union the Employment Learning Representative Protection Act 1975, is entitled trade union to time officials off). have had a statutory right to reasonable paid time off from employment to What carry are out examples trade union of duties trade union to undertake activities? trade union training. 37. Union The activities officials of a trade members union were member also can given be, a for statutory example: right to reasonable unpaid time off when taking part in trade union activities. attending workplace meetings to discuss vote on the outcome In 1989 restrictions were introduced on the range of issues for which of negotiations with the employer. Where relevant, with the paid time off for trade union duties could be claimed to those covered employer s agreement, this can include attending such workplace by recognition agreements between employers trade unions. meetings at the employer s neighbouring locations. Additionally union duties must relate to the official s own employer meeting not, for full example, time officers to any to associated discuss issues employer. relevant All to the the time workplace off provisions voting in were union brought elections together in sections of the Trade Union having access Labour to Relations services provided (Consolidation) by a Union Act Learning Section 43 of the representative. Employment Act 2002 added a new right for Union Learning Representatives to take paid time off during working hours to undertake their duties to undertake relevant training CodE CODE of OF PRaCTiCE PRACTICE 3 TiME TIME off OFF for FOR TRadE TRADE UNioN UNION duties DUTIES and AND activities ACTIVITIES

21 38. Where the member is acting as a representative of a recognised union, activities can be, for example, taking part in: branch, area or regional meetings of the union where the business of the union is under discussion meetings of official policy making bodies such as the executive committee or annual conference meetings with full time officers to discuss issues relevant to the workplace There is no right to time off for trade union activities which themselves consist of industrial action. Payment for time off for trade union activities 40. Paragraphs set out the statutory entitlement to payment for time off to undertake trade union duties. 41. There is no statutory requirement that union members or representatives be paid for time off taken on trade union activities. Nevertheless employers may want to consider payment in certain circumstances, for example to ensure that workplace meetings are fully representative or to ensure that employees have access to services provided by Union Learning Representatives. SECTioN 3 TiME off for TRadE UNioN activities 19

22 Section 4 Introduction The responsibilities of employers trade unions 1. Under section 199 of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 Acas has a duty to provide practical guidance on the time off to be permitted by an employer: Employers, trade unions, union representatives line managers should work (a) together a trade to ensure union official that time in off accordance provisions, with including section training, 168 of operate the effectively Trade Union for mutual Labour benefit. Relations Union representatives (Consolidation) need Act to 1992; be able to communicate with management, each other, their trade union employees. (b) to a To trade do union so they member need to in be accordance able to use with appropriate section 170 of the communication Trade Union media Labour other facilities. Relations (Consolidation) Act General Section considerations 199 of the Act, as amended by the Employment Act 2002, also provides for Acas to issue practical guidance on time off 42. The amount frequency of time off should be reasonable in training for Union Learning Representatives. all the circumstances. Although the statutory provisions apply to all employers without exception as to size type of business or service, This Code, which replaces the Code of Practice issued by Acas in trade unions should be aware of the wide variety of difficulties 1998, is intended to provide such guidance. operational requirements to be taken into account when seeking or agreeing arrangements for time off, for example: The background the size of the organisation the number of workers 2. Since the the production Employment process Protection Act 1975, trade union officials have had a statutory right to reasonable paid time off from employment to the need to maintain a service to the public carry out trade union duties to undertake trade union training. Union the officials need for safety members security were at also all times. given a statutory right to 43. reasonable Employers unpaid in turn should time off have when in mind taking the part difficulties in trade for union trade activities. union In representatives 1989 restrictions were members introduced ensuring on the effective range of representation issues for which paid communications time off for trade with, union for example: duties could be claimed to those covered by recognition agreements between employers trade unions. shift workers Additionally union duties must relate to the official s own employer part-time workers not, for example, to any associated employer. All the time off provisions home workers were brought together in sections of the Trade Union teleworkers Labour or workers Relations not (Consolidation) working in a fixed Act location Section 43 of the those Employment employed Act at 2002 dispersed added locations a new right for Union Learning Representatives workers with particular to take paid domestic time off commitments during working including hours those to on undertake leave for their reasons duties of maternity, to undertake paternity relevant or care training. responsibilities workers with special needs such as disabilities or language requirements. 202 CodE CODE of OF PRaCTiCE PRACTICE 3 TiME TIME off OFF for FOR TRadE TRADE UNioN UNION duties DUTIES and AND activities ACTIVITIES

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