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About this resource

Unions have their own policies which reps are encouraged to follow. This document does not constitute formal legal guidance, it is intended to summarise some of the key issues facing reps in securing paid time off and summarising the impact of the Trade Union Act.

Download Facility time - reps guide (PDF)

Union reps represent the best of the trade union movement. Each and every day, in thousands of workplaces, our reps provide individual and collective support to their colleagues on a range of issues.

They provide advice and guidance on employment rights and other terms and conditions; they represent members in disciplinary and grievance cases; they make workplaces safer; they provide opportunities for learning and skills development; they are advocates for equality.

In any other area of public life such a contribution from people acting in a voluntary capacity would be celebrated by the Government and employers alike. However, since 2010 the ability of union reps – particularly those in the public sector - to carry out their role effectively has been put under increasing pressure.

A series of reforms and restrictions to facility time allocations in the public sector, culminated in the Trade Union Bill which passed into law in the spring of 2016.

The purpose of this briefing is to provide union reps with a comprehensive guide about facility time. As well as covering the implications of the Trade Union Bill it includes guidance on the ACAS Code of Practice on Paid Time Off, the legal status of reps, the implications of the Trade Union Act, how to make the case for facility time and how to use it effectively to build strong workplace unions.

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