Employees who are union representatives of a trade union recognised by their employer are entitled to reasonable time off, during working hours and without loss of pay, to carry out union duties and undergo relevant training.
Trade union duties include:
• negotiations with the employer, or other functions connected with the subjects of collective bargaining, such as terms and conditions, redundancy and dismissal arrangements
• preparations for negotiations, including attending relevant meetings.
• informing members of progress and outcomes of negotiations.
•matters of discipline (e.g. accompanying employees to internal hearings).
• attending training in aspects of industrial relations relevant to carrying out their trade union duties. This training must be approved by the Trades Union Congress or by the trade union of which he/she is an official.
Employees who are union learning representatives and trade union health and safety representatives are also entitled to paid time off to carry out their duties and training. For union learning representatives to take time off, the employer must have notice in writing that the employee is a learning representative of that union. The Health and Safety Executive issues its own advice and codes for health and safety representatives . In the case of local representatives these employees may be outside their own school if a local facility agreement allows for this.
Union members and union representatives may also request reasonable unpaid time off during working hours to take part in union activities. The Department for Education expects time off for trade union activities to be unpaid
• meetings with full time officials, or branch, area, regional or national meetings of the union where the business of the union is under discussion.
• meetings of official policy making bodies such as the national executive or annual conference.
• workplace meetings to discuss and vote on the outcome of negotiations with the employer.
• voting in union elections