Legal Article - Employment Law

Time-off Rights

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has produced a Code of Practice on Time Off for Trade Union Duties and Activities which gives practical advice on what are trade union activities and duties, when time-off should be given, what is a reasonable period of time-off and how it should be given.

These rights only apply where the Union is recognised by a company, including where a company has had to recognise a shop steward under the industry’s Disputes Procedure. Examples of when ordinary trade union members should have time-off without pay are

• attending workplace meetings to discuss and vote on the outcome of negotiations with the employer

• meeting full-time officials to discuss issues relevant to the workplace • voting in union elections.

Examples of when shop stewards should have time-off with pay are:

• To take part in negotiations with their employer

• To discuss on behalf of their constituents any matter to do with terms and conditions of employment and allocation of work activities

• To attend an Industrial Tribunal on an employee’s behalf

• To attend training courses to help carry out their Trade Union Officer duties effectively.

Published: 03 Jun 2011

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