Time Off for ULR Training and Duties

The Employment Act 2002 entitles ULRs to be granted reasonable time-off with pay to undertake the initial training and the relevant follow-on training in relation to specific aspects of their role (as confirmed in the ACAS Code of Practice). Within Napo, part of the follow-up training will be attendance at ULR Development Forums (currently under re-development) and attendance at the bi-annual Learning & Development Conference. The need for follow-on training will vary with the responsibilities, activities and projects of the ULR, the learning needs of the staff base and the circumstances of the workplace.

Those who wish to attend training courses in working time should first ask their employer for time off with pay. The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 section 168 gives accredited Trade Union representatives a legal right to reasonable time off with pay to attend courses approved by the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) or their union. Guidance towards establishing what constitutes reasonable time off can be found in the ACAS Code of Practice.

The actual time off agreement for ULRs to undertake their duties once they have been trained needs to be negotiated at a local level, involving Branch Chairs/Convenors via the local JNC/JNCC structure. Time off for ULRs to undertake their duties stands OUTSIDE of any time negotiated locally for the Branch Executive to undertake their respectives roles, as per Health and Safety Reps.

Representatives who find difficulty in either requesting local negotiations on time off or obtaining paid time off to attend TUC courses relevant to the role should seek assistance from their senior union representative in the first instance, or contact the ULF Project Team.

Online learning is NOT an alternative to paid release from work. The law still applies, whether learning takes place away from work or in work, at a work station or in a company learning centre.